UAAP member schools hope to protect their investments in scouting, recruitment, and training, by tightening the rules against player poaching.
Among the steps the eight-member association is looking to take is the introduction of the 'letter of intent' rule for high school players wishing to play in the league in college, according to a high-ranking league official who asked that he not be be named.
The change is being eyed to clear up rules with regards to high school players wishing to move to another school in college, which has become a source of friction among member schools in recent years.
Signing of a letter of intent is part of the rules of the US NCAA Division I and II schools on the recruitment of high school players. The ‘letter of intent’ is defined by the US NCAA as a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and school.
Once a player signs a letter of intent, he is committed to attend the school for one academic year and other schools will no longer be allowed to contact the prospective recruit.
Changes in eligibility rules have been mulled in light of a tug-of-war for Far Eastern University-Diliman star Jerie Pingoy, who is set to join reigning league champion Ateneo next season.
The Tamaraws had insisted that Pingoy had committed to their seniors team after signing an agreement, although the league currently does not have an official and binding document for such agreements.
FEU and Pingoy differed in their interpretation of the signed document. The school said it was a commitment to play for the Tamaraws in college while the Cebuano guard said that what he signed was a pledge from FEU that it will help in the education of Pingoy's siblings should he decide to stay put.
According to UAAP president Nilo Ocampo in a previous interview with Spin.ph, the league is also mulling changes to its eligibility rules such as an extension of the residency period from one to two years of high school players who transfer from one UAAP school to another.
“’Yung usual, residency ng college and pati high school, ‘yung one year, baka gawin two years and … lay your cards on the table (in terms of recruitment) para wala na ‘yung through the back door, ‘yung mga ganun,” Ocampo said.
“We have an amendments committee that is studying our rules. Maybe it’s about time to check our rules, baka mag-recommend sila for the future,” he added.