'More harm than good': NCAA foreigner ban stays for Season 96
MANILA, Philippines – The NCAA remains steadfast in its decision to ban the inclusion of foreign student-athletes (FSAs) in its upcoming Season 96 early next year.
In an online forum hosted by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) on Tuesday, June 23, NCAA management committee (Mancom) president Fr Vic Calvo of host school Colegio de San Juan de Letran said FSAs "as of the moment have done more harm than good."
"Majority of the NCAA schools agree the presence of imports bring more negative effects. I can enumerate 10 disadvantages," he said.
While Calvo did not specify what disadvantages FSAs brought to the league, he also said the ruling is subject to change at any time, as long as the majority of the 10 member schools vote against it.
"NCAA’s rules are not dead, they are dynamic. Anything can happen. It depends on the policy board," he said.
"For example, a policy board member really wants to have imports. He can sponsor a resolution and propose it to the policy board. Let’s talk about that."
The rule change adopted two years ago was met with criticism from both local and foreign players alike.
Season 89 MVP Raymond Almazan said in a report by ABS-CBN News that FSAs made him work harder for his spot and prepared him for the PBA.
Ex-UAAP MVP and NCAA Mythical Team member Bright Akhuetie, meanwhile, immediately aired his thoughts on social media when the rule was implemented.
If 1 per school is a problem then y'all need to check yourselves!! How do u expect to make your bigs better and prepare them to standout against the world? If 1 can have so much impact on a team, I guess y'all need to do better in terms of developing these guys for the future. https://t.co/0p5IKx0Yq9— Bright Osagie Akhuetie (@bright_bigtinzz) June 21, 2018
Likewise, four-time NCAA champion Ola Adeogun from the San Beda Red Lions did not mince words regarding the rule during a 2019 interview at the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup.
"Nakakalungkot, pero yan yung ginawa nilang rule eh. Anong gagawin namin? Wala kaming control over that," said the Nigerian athlete, who was then finishing his master’s degree in San Beda. (It’s saddening, but that’s the rule they made. What can we do? We have no control over that.)
"For the [NCAA] taking that away, it’s not really a welcoming thing for the Philippines. We all know the Philippines is a welcoming country. It doesn’t tell well of the hospitality. It’s all bulls--t for me, you can put it in record."
However, Season 95 Mancom chair Peter Cayco of Arellano University clarified during the PSA Forum that the league is thankful of the work the FSAs exerted in the last few seasons despite seconding Calvo’s position.
"Don’t get us wrong. We would like to thank the foreign players for being able to train and teach our Filipino guys how to play against bigger and heftier foreign players. We thank them for that," he said.
Only 4 FSAs finished up their collegiate careers – all in basketball – in the NCAA: Season 95 Best Defensive Foreign Player Mike Nzeusseu of Lyceum, Season 95 Best Foreign Player Donald Tankoua of San Beda, Season 92 Finals MVP Arnaud Noah of San Beda and Clement Leutcheu of CSB. – Rappler.com