The UAAP is dead
by rick olivares
Can someone confirm a rumor I heard?
I heard that the UAAP is dead. Or is more like the Walking Dead?
You know the league that was the junior circuit born out of disputes from grand old league? The league that one point upstaged the PBA with its packed games, boisterous crowds, and chatroom chatter about new recruits.
In truth, apart from all the glitz and glam, those clever marketing lines from “ma-drama” to “unbreakable” the UAAP has long been decaying from the inside.
Let me backtrack a bit… who didn’t form an opinion about Manny Pacquiao “losing” to Tim Bradley? That was highway robbery, right? Yet that happens sporadically in boxing.
How about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics being given three chances at the buzzer to defeat the US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in Munich 40 years ago? That has got to be one of the most infamous games ever. That FIBA and its head – William Jones – was involved in the replay of the final seconds of that game three times is a freaking joke.
That was bad, huh? Well, that kind of bad happens on a regular basis in the UAAP.
You all remember the 1991 finals when the championship was awarded to FEU after La Salle refused to replay the game that they had won? On what? Four inconsequential seconds of a player who had fouled out but stayed on the court?
There were the suspensions to Adamson (1994) and La Salle (2006).
There are the rules such as the two-year residency rule for Fil-Ams to curb La Salle’s success. This was even more incredible a rule was formed to stymie a team! And that set a dangerous precedent because eventually there was the Soc Rivera Rule. The Maui Villanueva Rule. The Jai Reyes Rule.
In Season 71, the UAAP Press Corps voted rather unanimously for Rabeh Al-Hussaini to win the MVP Award. UST was incensed because they felt that Jervy Cruz had the better stats and should have been the recipient of the award (never mind if his team did not make the Final Four). Cruz was a very good player on a bad team while Al-Hussaini was a marginal player who suddenly became very good and he led the team to its best finish since 1987. The following year, the Press Corps was no longer allowed to vote and it was decided that the post-season awards would all be stats based.
Two years later, Paul Lee and Ken Acibar who played on a bad UE team (6-8) made the Mythical Five because they put up big stats.
Just last season, UE’s Cindy Resultay put up jaw dropping numbers but her Amazons team finished 1-13. Mercifully, the people making the post-season awards did not award her MVP honors. Really at 1-13? See the inanity of stats-based selection?
Several years ago, FEU forward Mac Baracael was shot. Up to today it has never been properly explained. You think the league would leave no stone unturned in trying to unearth the truth.
How many players have been removed from their teams over the last few years under suspicion of throwing games? If they really are throwing them, why aren’t they charged? And what protocols are there for this?
There was the Juniors Football Tournament where both Ateneo and FEU were tied at first after the elimination round with the former getting the twice-to-beat-advantage because of superior goal difference. The latter argued that the it should be a best of three and the board concurred! Imagine that. When I exposed that there was a precedent this time in seniors division of the 2008 tourney where both Ateneo and FEU were once more tied, it was the Tamaraws who were given the incentive because they led on goal difference. The championship was awarded to Ateneo as they had already won Game One.
The overturning of the decision of the current UAAP commissioner – who ruled against a replay of the controversial FEU-NU match – was terrible. Why get a commissioner – and one who is supposedly neutral – only to overturn his decision. Not once but twice?
Several years ago, FEU’s football coach and some players attacked a referee following a heated football match with UST. The football commissioner and the referees recommended the banning of the coach not just for the remainder of the season but also the next. The board, naturally overturned the decision.
And it’s the UAAP Board that comes up with these decisions? Do you want to even entrust your education to these people who have no moral compunctions about politicking, cheating, and having agendas against one another. Some educators these people are.
The games have come to the point where you have officials checking out uniform violations so they could file a protest. You have people coming the rulebook for gray areas and how they can be exploited.
Its come to a point where at the start of every season, I wonder what drama awaits. What hideous controversy will come to light. And what utter lunacy and stupidity the board will show to all.
Yes, there are bad calls. There are horrible ones. Just like players who deliberately miss shots or coaches who gave away games. We can argue all about bad calls until Kingdom come but it will not change a thing.
That Ateneo-UST game was horribly officiated. There were many bad calls and glaring non-calls. Unfortunately, the game went down to that – a correct call on a goaltending violation and a foul and a technical foul that wasn’t called. At the end of the day, it was about a judgment call. And like any one who doesn’t like the outcome, a protest can be filed. But when it is thrown out by the commissioner let’s leave it at that.
Besides, you UST got the calls and had the benefit of many non-calls. And you want a few more after the game is done?
I’d like to leave you with something you might have all forgotten. And you want your precedent well, here is your precedent.
In the final playing days of Season 73, UP filed a protest against the outcome of its second round match with NU after a referee made a judgment call on a lane violation and an alleged Emmanuel Mbe goaltending violation of an Alvin Padilla shot. The protest was disallowed.
This season, UP was once more the victim of an obvious goaltending violation by FEU’s Anthony Hargrove that robbed them of a win.
Why not replay that as well?
But you know, this league is a dead league. It is a league where every one is another’s enemy. Where rivalries have gone too far and the mantra has become "win at all costs."
I’m wearing black today because I am going to a wake. Because sportsmanship and the spirit of amateurism – is dead in the UAAP.
OTHER PISSED OFF NOTES:
I was busy with work yesterday and wasn't able to find the time to write. The one thing I wanted to do was write an analysis on the Washington Redskins (and I am a New York Giants fan) because of all the excitement that RGIII brought. While at a UFL taping for FTW at GMA7, I was informed about the elevation of the protest by UST and well it really pissed me off.
Replayed games.... I can remember only two (aside from the continuation of matches that were put to a stop) in the last several decades (pucha ang tanda ko na) -- 1984 UE vs UP where Ronnie Magsanoc hit a shot at the buzzer or a tad late after the buzzer to pip the Warriors. Joe Lipa instantly ordered his team to run to the locker room while UE fumed. In an age before television and instant replay, the UAAP Board in its infinite wisdom ordered a REPLAY! UE crushed UP in the replayed match. And then there was the Finals Game in 1991 between FEU and La Salle that should have never been awarded. As far as I am concerned La Salle are 1991 UAAP Champs. That was stolen from them. They earned that.