UP says decision to drop plan to name Joe Ward as coach a form of 'self regulation'
Ateneo's appointment of Tab Baldwin has revived a controversy over a foreign coach taking up a position in the country's major leagues. Jerome Ascano

THE University of the Philippines said it will not question the appointment of American-New Zealander Tab Baldwin as Ateneo coach unless the matter is elevated to the UAAP board by concerned parties.

UP College of Kinetics Dean Ronwaldo Dizer said he knows of no UAAP rule barring foreign coaches from the collegiate league, despite a landmark court ruling that bars foreign coaches from taking up positions in major leagues 'that competent Filipinos can perform.'

Article 40 of the Labor Code of the Philippines also states: "The employment permit may be issued to a non-resident alien or to the applicant employer after a determination of the non-availability of a person in the Philippines who is competent, able and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the alien is desired."

However, Dizer said the UAAP can take up the matter if relevant parties like the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP), which won the court ruling that now becomes the basis in this case, or the national governing body for basketball Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) file a petition or recommendation.

"Actually, there's nothing that I know of (under the UAAP bylaws that prohibits a foreign coach), atleast for the part of the recollection is concerned," Dizer told Spin.ph on Tuesday.

"I think BCAP ang nakikita ko na natural na aalma dyan. Saka 'yung SBP," he added. "Hindi lang natin alam kung saan makakarating 'yan, pero BCAP kasi ang may concern sa pag-protect sa kapakanan ng mga local coaches, yung SBP naman ang national sports association natin sa basketball, so sila ba eh pumapayag na mayroon bang ganitong konsepto sa amatuer basketball?

"Para sa akin, BCAP at SBP muna sana ang tumimbang tapos 'yung recommendation nila 'yun ang i-elevate nila sa UAAP board," he said.

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[See BCAP head hopes law will prevail in wake of Ateneo decision to tap Baldwin as coach]

Prior to last season, UP ditched its own plan to name American conditioning coach Joe Ward as head coach of the Maroons, but Dizer insisted it was only a form of 'self regulation' for the state-run university.

"Sa amin kasi awkward mag-hire ng foreigner, kasi we're the national university, kami ang pambansang unibersidad, awkward naman considering nationalism," said Dizer. "We're a public university kasi at known for being makabayan at nationalistic, that led to our decision not to consider Joe Ward."

Dizer explained that the hiring process at UP differs from those of private universities like Ateneo.

"Maraming consideration, maraming differences 'yung comparison with the private school," he said. "I cannot speak for the private schools ... You have to remember that UP is the only public school-member of the UAAP. Alam mo naman difference ng private at government."

[See Baldwin appointment as Ateneo coach facing legal obstacle, warns Guiao]

Dizer insisted their decision not to appoint Ward to the position which eventually went to former PBA guard Rensy Bajar, should not be taken as a barometer in the hiring of Baldwin, or any foreign coach for that matter.

"Hindi naman namin didiktahan ang UAAP, na dapat ganito rin kayo. Kasi sarili ninyong pera at administrasyon yan. Pero pag may sasalungat sa inyo, you have to answer to that and present your argument, tignan natin kung saan makakarating," he said.

"Kami kasi, nag-self police na kami. Kami na nag-decide internally kung maganda ba tignan na isang foreigner ang magco-coach sa pambansang unibersidad, tapos nag-decide nga kami (na gawing consultant na lang si Joe Ward)," he said.

[See Baldwin sympathetic to BCAP cause, but makes it clear he didn't go after Ateneo job]

UP Dean Ronwald Dizer says only when a petition or recommendation is elevated to the UAAP board can the league take up the matter. Snow Badua
UP Dean Ronwald Dizer says only when a petition or recommendation is elevated to the UAAP board can the league take up the matter. Snow Badua

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua