The UAAP board recently passed a new rule that would require a high school graduate from a UAAP school to sit out two years before being able to play for a different UAAP school. The board can say whatever it wants to say about why it is enforcing this new rule, but it won’t change the fact that it is stupid and selfish.
It’s stupid because to be honest, there wasn’t really anything wrong with the old rule that only required students to sit out for a year (or not at all, if the school where the student came from allows it). It is the right of every student to choose where he or she wants to go to college. This new rule kind of takes that right away. There are a lot of ways to make a student stay. This rule shouldn’t be one of them.
It will also get in the way of an athlete’s development. Yes, an athlete can practice, build strength, and acquire new skills while waiting out the two-year residency period, but nothing can ever compare to real game action. Sitting out for that long will only make it more difficult for an athlete to get back to game shape.
It’s selfish because it puts the interest of the schools ahead of the interest of the students. That’s just wrong. The schools will say that they just want to protect their so-called homegrown talent. Well, they should do everything they can to make sure that homegrown talent stays without having to rely on a stupid rule.
I know some will say that in the end, it will be money that will influence a student-athlete’s decision. What if a student wants to move because the other school offers a better “package?” Well, that’s the thing. Instead of enforcing a stupid residency rule, the UAAP board should look into the “packages” that are being offered by the schools and find out why are they so enticing.
UAAP athletes are supposed to be amateurs, not pros. Schools shouldn’t be paying them for their services, but I think some of them probably are. That’s what the UAAP board should focus on instead of trying to force athletes to stay even if they don’t want to.