UNIVERSITY of the Philippines has formally appealed the three-game suspension meted on coach Bo Perasol for his rant against the referees and subsequent ejection from the Maroons' loss to Ateneo over the weekend.
The team's main backer NowheretogobutUP made the announcementon Wednesday, saying it felt the punishment handed out to Perasol was "excessive and unwarranted."
"As we discussed in the MR, it is our contention that the three-game suspension of Coach Bo is excessive, unwarranted, and unprecedented," said Patricia Galang, one of the lawyers tapped to aid UP College of Human Kinetics (CHK) Dean Francis Diaz in filing the motion for reconsideration.
Although the school and Perasol agreed that the coach's aggressive nature was uncalled for, he did not do anything way past that and hoped that the UAAP would revisit the penalty "and compare the incident and its corresponding punishment with similar incidents in the past."
"As video footage shows, Coach Bo uttered some harsh words but he did not at any point hit or make physical contact with referee Jaime Rivano. At most I think one could argue that Coach Bo stood in an aggressive manner – but he did nothing beyond that," Galang said.
Perasol's ejection merited an automatic one-game suspension, but UAAP basketball commissioner Jensen Ilagan added two more games for "continuous flagrant acts of aggression," all based on the Art. 9.2.3. of the UAAP General Tournament Guidelines, 2019, which read: "It shall also be the responsibility of the Tournament Commissioner or its equivalent to impose disciplinary measures on any student-athlete, team official, and/or any accompanying delegation member who violates the fundamental values of respect, fairness, civility, honesty, and responsibility in the course of any game or sporting event."
But UP argued that there is an "unclear factual basis for the additional two-game penalty imposed."
“Coach Bo got a one-game suspension for his ejection; that is clear under Rule 9.2.1., which says that if you’re ejected from the game, you’re suspended in the next game. So what’s the basis for the additional two games? The Commissioner says it is for ‘continuous flagrant acts of aggression,’ a violation that does not exist as defined by tournament rules,” said Galang.
“Essentially, the Commissioner created a new offense – ‘continuous flagrant acts of aggression’ – and, in our view, arbitrarily suspended Coach Bo for two more games.”
The school also noted that there were parameters set previously on similar offenses committed by players and those should be followed accordingly.
First offenders were to be given a written reprimand; for a second offense, a one-game suspension; for a third offense, a two-game suspension; and for a fourth offense, suspension for the entire season.
"As you can see, the intention is to impose stiffer penalties for repeat offenders. In the rule mentioned, a two-game suspension is meted out only after the offense is committed for the third time within the season; clearly, this is not the case with Coach Bo," said the lawyer.