A UAAP ban on foreign players is imminent as top university officials have reached a consensus on the issue, the president of the University of the Philippines said.
UP president Alfredo Pascual told Spin.ph a move to close the door on foreign players was discussed in a meeting among university officials and the issue will now be passed on to the UAAP board.
“Pinag-usapan na yan in the last board meeting. I think there is consensus with respect to that issue,” said Pascual in a chance interview with Spin.ph.
“It came out like a consensus.”
Such a ban will have the UAAP following in the footsteps of rival league NCAA, which has stopped the recruitment of foreign players for its league teams beginning in 2015.
[For full story, see Foreign players a vanishing breed in NCAA as new rule set to take effect]
"The NCAA has already laid down the policy setting 2015, I think, as the start of the no recruitment of foreign players ... I think it is but appropriate if we follow suit in the UAAP," said Pascual.
Pascual said UP fully supports a ban on foreign players and added representatives of the seven other member universities are amenable to the proposal.
National University's board representative Nilo Ocampo admitted a ban on foreign players has been tackled once by the league board, but insisted there has been no concrete push from other members to impose such a policy.
“Napapag-usapan na 'yan. Pero madalas informal pa lang,” Ocampo said.
Asked about his take on the issue, Ocampo said: “There are some legit foreigners who are really studying - pero how do you differentiate yung nag-aaral talaga at sa ni-recruit as athletes. 'Yun ang mahirap.”
UP College of Human Kinetics dean Ronwaldo Dizer, meanwhile, is all out in supporting the move.
“Let’s face it. Tumataas ang level ng kumpetisyon (because of the arrival of foreign players), pero may ill effects ito sa ating mga homegrown athletes,” Dizer said.
“For every foreign athlete, one Pinoy is deprived of a spot in the varsity team. Sa bandang huli, may mga Pilipino na hindi nabibigyan ng pagkakataon sa isang liga tulad ng UAAP,” he added.
Pascual is certain a ban on foreign players will be implemented soon.
“When? I can say very soon. Sometime around that area - 2015, 2016,” added the state university’s 20th president.
Ocampo assured that if ever such a ban will be put in place, it will not be implemented immediately to give all the member schools enough time to adjust their respective sports programs.
“If we ever do that, we will give a time frame for the execution of the rules. Alam namin na halos lahat have already prepared their programs,” Ocampo said.