THE move to increase the residency requirements of high school transferees from one to two years was meant to protect the high school programs of the UAAP's eight member schools.
This was bared by UAAP amendments committee head Em Fernandez of Ateneo as he defended the controversial rule change that has sparked a backlash from both players and fans.
The UAAP board voted 5-2 to pass the rule change on Tuesday, with Fernandez' Ateneo and the University of the Philippines the only dissenting vote.
“Basically, it’s the consensus of the other schools because Ateneo and UP voted against it,” said Fernandez. “But (the other schools) want to protect their high school program, which is technically geared for their college program.”
Once the rule takes effect next season, two-time UAAP juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy of Far Eastern University will have to decide on whether to push through with a plan to move to Ateneo or stay with the Tamaraws.
Pingoy will have to go through a two-year residency if he chooses the Blue Eagles and will only be eligible to play in the league by 2015. However, he will be eligible for next season if the stays with the Tamaraws.
The new rule drew mostly adverse reactions from players and fans on social networking sites, but Fernandez admitted that such debates are normal.
“Even naman ‘yung old rule, before it was implemented, there was a lot of negative reaction,” Fernandez said. "I think it should be further reviewed because there were certain scenarios which were brought about.
“For example, what about schools without a girls division? What about UAAP high school since not all UAAP sports have a high school counterpart? How do you deal with that? There are certain things that need to be addressed,” Fernandez added.
Fernandez also clarified that the new rule isn’t technically in effect.
“I can’t say it’s really final because the year isn’t over and any rule change that will be amended in Season 75 will take effect in Season 76. Season 75 isn’t over yet,” said Fernandez.