After an almost four-hour meeting, the University of Athletic Association of the Philippines’ Board of Management Directors has submitted its recommendation to the Board of Trustees regarding the “Bicol bubble” case.
And for an extraordinary case in an unusual time, the sanction might be unprecedented.
Sources closely monitoring the situation have told Tiebreaker Times that Aldin Ayo’s punishment can be as low as a six-month suspension, or as high as a possible lifetime banishment from the league.
Though sanctioning an offense by a school, a varsity team, an athlete, or a coach for an off-season activity is not part of the league’s constitution, the BOT — which consists of the eight school presidents — can override it. And it tasked the BMD to make a recommendation regarding the Bicol bubble case, Thursday afternoon.
During the marathon session, the board members in attendance broke down UST’s report on its investigation of the Bicol bubble case.
They deemed that Ayo broke the following guidelines set by the Inter-agency Task Force — the guidelines the BMD cited:
2. The movement of all persons in areas placed under GCQ shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate hereunder. Provided, that movement for leisure purposes shall not be allowed.
3. Any person below twenty-one (21) years old, those who are sixty (60) years old and above, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women, including any person who resides with the aforementioned, shall be required to remain in their residences at all times, except when indispensable under the circumstances for obtaining essential goods and services or for work in permitted industries and offices.
From June 17 to July 29, 17 members of the Growling Tigers went from NCR to Sorsogon. NCR was under GCQ during that time, while Sorsogon was under MGCQ until June 30.
Eleven of the 17 players were below 21 years of age.
In Sorsogon, the Growling Tigers held a “training camp”.
But the Joint Administrative Order group has also made it clear that “Recreational and Non-Professional Contact Sports and Activities shall be temporarily suspended regardless of risk severity until an effective vaccine and/or appropriate standard of care for COVID-19 cases is developed. On the other hand, professional contact sports and activities shall be allowed for Filipino professional players with scheduled tournaments abroad and in low-risk areas, while observing appropriate protocols and guidelines.”
Since the Growling Tigers are a non-professional contact sport team, it is prohibited from conducting physical activities even in a low-risk area.
Besides the violations of IATF guidelines, the board also adjudged Ayo as the instigator of the activity, which was not sanctioned by UST.
If the league’s BOT opts for a ban, there is precedence.
Back in 2005, La Salle’s assistant team manager Manny Salgado received a ban after hitting FEU’s Arwind Santos.
There is still no timetable for when the BOT will discuss the matter, according to one of the sources.