PUSHING back the opening of the next UAAP season to the first quarter of 2021 is one of the many options the league is exploring as it adapts to the effects brought upon by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag clarified that the Board of Managing Directors (BMD) have still not decided on any matter pertaining to the staging of the next athletic calendar and nothing is official yet.
"There are many options being considered by the BMD and one of those is the opening of the UAAP in the first quarter of 2021," he told Spin.ph.
The BMD have yet to convene anew, although it is expected to meet at the soonest, first to discuss what was left of Season 82, what the future holds for Season 83 which La Salle will host, as well as the eligibility matters for all student-athletes, among other topics.
Saguisag reiterated that the UAAP has found itself on a tough position as it is considering a lot of factors before plotting its next moves.
"We're guided by: 1) the Presidential directive prohibiting mass gatherings; 2) the PSC statement of 'no vaccine, no sports'; and 3) the earlier DepEd pronouncements that face-to-face or in-person classes can only begin on August 24 at the earliest while CHEd says its Sept 1 for higher education institutions (HEIs)," he said. "Of course, once face-to-face classes do start, you have to give a window for the student-athletes to prepare."
"And even if the conditions above ease up, member-schools are in loco parentis (a special parental authority and responsibility) over each student, including the student-athlete, which probably means that inter-collegiate leagues such as ours may have to be more cautious and prudent in its approach."
Difficult as the UAAP's situation is, Saguisag said that the BMD is not in a position to make any rash judgment as it continues to carefully study and monitor the situation with the country still facing this health crisis.
"Again, nothing is final as the goalposts keep shifting. Everything is on the table and the Board of Managing Directors is carefully preparing for many different scenarios which will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval," he said.
"As Dr. Anthony Fauci (head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) said, 'We don't make the timeline, the virus does.' But, we cannot just surrender helplessly. It's better to have plans than none at all."