The UAAP has introduced a new rule that will allow basketball, volleyball, and football players to regain their amateur status despite having already played in a professional league as a guest player.
According to UAAP executive director Saguisag, student-athletes from other collegiate leagues who have availed of the Games and Amusement Board’s special guest license will still have the chance to compete in the UAAP if they were not enrolled in one of the eight member schools prior.
“This is something new, the re-acquisition of eligibility, or as we call it, amateur status, to return to basketball in particular, but there are limitations,” said Saguisag during the UAAP Season 86 press conference at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
In the UAAP, student-athletes who have played in professional leagues even as a guest player are considered professionals. Meanwhile, other collegiate leagues like the NCAA, the UCBL, and the NAASCU allow their student-athletes to play in professional leagues via an SGL.
Players wishing to regain “amateur status” must also serve one year of residency. The number of years they played in collegiate and professional leagues will determine their remaining years of eligibility in the UAAP.
“One requirement is that you have to sit out one year of residency. Number two, the number of years you played as a professional will also be counted as playing years,” said Saguisag.
“Number three and, most importantly, you must not have enrolled in a UAAP member school prior to turning pro, because our reasoning behind that is if you already played in one of these eight member schools, you are constructively notified. You already know that, right?” the amiable executive continued.
“If, for example, you were playing for NU and then you decide to obtain an SGL (special guest license), your team has been advised and has considered the repercussions together with your coaches. I hope that’s clear.”
However, the UAAP will maintain its stance regarding special guest licenses for UAAP basketball and volleyball players who want to compete in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), respectively. The same applies to football players who wish to play in the Philippines Football League (PFL).
Regarding other sports, Saguisag said that the league is considering re-evaluating its position. He also admitted that some of the UAAP’s eligibility rules are “basketball-centric,” which is why the league plans to reconsider its stance on other events.
“For now, we will maintain that we will not recognize the special guest licenses in relation to the PBA. However, for other sports that are not directly comparable or not in the same situation, we may consider reevaluating our stance on those sports that are not exactly like the PBA,” said Saguisag.
“The thing is, we’ve realized that sometimes our rules tend to be basketball-centric, and we have come up with different permutations for each sporting event and division, which will be evaluated.”