THE NCAA will allow its student-athletes to compete in professional leagues if and only if it obtains a special guest license from the Games and Amusements Board.
“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 Management Committee head Fr. Vic Calvo of Letran during the online press conference yesterday.
Before, the NCAA rules states that a student-athlete, once drafted or even sign a contract in a pro league, will forfeit his or her playing eligibility.
But with the special guest license, which GAB is offering “as a way for collegiate players to gain exposure and experience” in the absence of collegiate leagues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA believes that this will bridge the gap.
With a special license, the players could be tapped by pro teams as active players or practice players but only for a short and limited time.
“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,” said Calvo.
“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. We will honor the SGL of course if the proposal will be finalized,” he added.
It was also cleared during the Zoom conference on how the process of obtaining a special guest license for college players.
GAB legal division head Elmer Benitez said that the student-athlete must first submit his notice to his or her school. The school then will recommend it to the NCAA and the league will give its consent to GAB, which has the authority to approve the license and give it to the student-athlete.
“This (special guest license) 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 Benitez.
“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,” the lawyer added.
For the 96-year-old league, this bold move will definitely alter its constitution and by-laws.
But with the changing times, this is 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.
“We have to adapt to the times and find ways to maintain our status and adapting to the present realities,” he added.
The NCAA is plotting its Season 96 opening for early next year with only four sports, including centerpiece basketball and volleyball events.