Coping with the times, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will allow its student-athletes to compete in professional leagues if and only if they obtain a special guest license.
The Grand Old League announced its decision during a special press conference held with the Games and Amusements Board, Friday morning.
“At the moment, we have submitted our resolution to the policy board of the NCAA for comments. The Policy Board made some comments regarding the justification of the coaches on why this is important for the development of our student-athletes,” said NCAA Season 96 president Fr. Vic Calvo, OP.
“The NCAA rules really say that once drafted or even sign a contract in a pro league, he or she loses amateur status. The term used by Atty. [Elmer] Benitez is to bridge the gap. Kahit na yung college sports ngayon, may characteristics na ng pro sports. So what’s the distinction? We have to balance for the good of the student-athlete. We are open kasi nga we are a living organization. We have players who are joining Chooks 3×3 and MPBL. We are still waiting for the final decision but it is already 80-percent approved. We just have to justify the situation right now since madaming gray areas,” he continued.
“We will honor the SGL of course if the proposal will be finalized.”
The brainchild of the SGL is GAB chairman Baham Mitra.
“When I was young, I dreamt of playing in the NCAA but now I am working right now. I still feel that I am part of the NCAA family. Makatulong lang po masaya na po kami. I won’t be always the GAB chairman but I’ll always be a sports fan,” expressed Mitra.
It was also cleared during the conference on how the process of obtaining an SGL is.
According to GAB legal division head Atty. Benitez and Season 95 president Peter Cayco, the student-athlete must first submit his notice to his or her school. Then the school will recommend it to the NCAA. After that, the NCAA will give its consent to GAB, who will approve the license and give it to the student-athlete.
“Of course we will assist them. If they ask their mother school to play for a certain league, the member school will endorse it to the NCAA,” bared Cayco.
“Ang tawag po sa kanya is SGL because it’s a special license given to amateur players who would like to join pro leagues in a limited time. It’s for the development of the pro league at lalaki din siya. Magkakaroon din crossover with the fanbase. This will also give the amateurs a smoother transition to the pros. It will also help the national team pool. The coverage is for school-based athletic organizations, the training pool of the PSC can apply for this with the consent, in this case, the NCAA,” said Atty. Benitez.
“The period should be in the off-season and it has to have the consent of the league.
“All over the world, we are seeing the blurring of pros and amateurs. It’s a reality we have to contend with. This is a bridge as we evolve. We are giving the opportunity para makapaglaro ang ating athletes in the pro leagues on a limited basis,” he continued.
For the 96-year-old league, this will definitely alter its constitution. But it’s an important step forward not only for the development of the student-athletes but also for the growth of the NCAA.
“As a school-based association, we will try to protect the spirit of amateurism. A school spends almost one-million per student in the five years he or she will stay in the NCAA,” said Calvo.
“On the other hand, times change. With the joint resolution of GAB and PSC, we have to revisit our rules. We have to adapt to the times and find ways to maintain our status and adapting to the present realities.”