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Cayetano hits out at UAAP residency rule, files Magna Carta for Student-Athletes

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Cayetano hits out at UAAP residency rule, files Magna Carta for Student-Athletes
March 14, 2014 7:50pm

With a new crop of freshmen on the horizon, which would result in more and more students getting affected by collegiate rules that require residency before competing athletically for a new school, among others, Senator Pia Cayetano filed House Bill 2166 Friday, providing for a Magna Carta for Student Athletes.

"It is the purpose of this bill to provide appropriate recognition and protection to the rights and general welfare of Student-Athletes encompassing academic, amateur sports, and mental and physical health aspects," said Cayetano in the bill's explanatory note. "On the other hand, it also acknowledges that these Student-Athletes are in a special situation and thus the bill also specifies the accompanying responsibilities that they have to fulfill to this end. Schools, athletic associations, Student-Athletes and their parents shall recognize and uphold the amateur nature of the programs and competitions that Student-Athletes participate in."

"This bill also recognizes that Student-Athletes should be protected from any discriminatory policy that may restrict their participation in any field of amateur sports that they have chosen to participate and compete in and consequently hinder the development of their full potential as athletes and well-rounded citizens or our country," Cayetano added.

Perhaps what will be the most famous aspect of the bill will be its stance against residency rules for a student going from a high school to another college or university, which is exactly what the UAAP currently has, which is covered under "discriminatory policy."

Under a new UAAP rule put in prior to the start of the current season, an athlete moving from one member high school to a different member college must obtain a release from the high school or face a residency period of two years. This is an increase from what was originally a one-year residency period.

Two high profile student-athletes were forced to sit out because of this rule. Ateneo point guard Jerie Pingoy, who came from FEU-FERN, missed the men's seniors division basketball tournament, while UP swimmer Mikee Bartolome, who came from UST, was only able to compete after obtaining a TRO.

Currently, no other collegiate league has a two-year residency period.

Cayetano, herself a former student-athlete, has long been against such a residency rule.

Sen. Cayetano said the bill will be discussed in April, at the end of the senate's Lenten break. - AMD, GMA News



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