ATENEO has no plans yet to elevate the case of Hubert Cani toa court of law as the school is set to appeal the UAAP decision to declare the former National University high school star ineligible for Season 78.
There is growing clamor from a few quarters in the Katipunan-based school to haul the league to court for its decision not to allow Cani to play this season, even with the Student-Athletes Protection Bill authored by Sen. Pia Cayetano set to become a law.
The Cayetano bill, among others, will outlaw the residency rule that forced Cani to red-shirt for two years before being eligible to play for the Blue Eagles.
Ricky Palou, Ateneo’s representative to the UAAP board, said the university will appeal before the league to reconsider its decision on Cani.
“We will try and appeal one more time,” said Palou.
In declaring Cani ineligible, the UAAP board ruled that the Student-Athletes Protection Bill cannot be imposed retroactively and therefore cannot cover the case of Cani, who moved from NU to Ateneo last season.
The league is waiting for the bill to be either signed by President Aquino or lapse into law.
As for the possibility of taking the case to the court, Palou was non-committal saying the bill has yet to be officially enacted into law.
The Ateneo official expects the bill to become a law only in the second semester of the school year.
“Well, the law is there pero hindi pa pinipirmahan ng Presidente eh. Medyo matagal pa ‘yan. Kapag pinirmahan ng Presidente, magkakaroon pa ng implementing guidelines tapos ilalabas sa diyaryo in 15 days.
“Matagal pa (‘yung batas). Baka sa second semester pa ‘yun,” said Palou.
The Ateneo official said the school will also seek for Cani’s release from NU. A clause on the two-year residency rule states a release paper from an athlete’s previous school will make him eligible immediately.
“I think what we will also try to do is kausapin ang NU na baka puwedeng i-release. Pero pupunta rin kami sa board and try it one more time,” said Palou.