Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

On the UAAP's bringing down the playing age of 25 to 24

This appears on the Monday, June 6, 2016 edition of the Business Mirror.

What’s your age again?
by rick olivares

It has been reported that the UAAP first agreed to drop the age of the of student-athletes from 25 to 24 and then reversing their earlier decision. That leaves me wondering what the heck they were thinking of in the first place.

Nevertheless, I would still like to offer my thoughts on this. 

I was told my a UAAP board representative that one of the reasons for the initial move was that at age of 25, they should be in the PBA already as there are players who are younger already in the pros.

Let’s debunk that.

Fact: Prior to UAAP Season 78, the league adopted a rule stating that a student-athlete "must not be 26 years old” rule. Then one year later, they countermand themselves and drop it down to 24.

Fact: Not every UAAP alumnus goes to the PBA.

Let’s look at the numbers:

In the 2015 PBA Draft,  
4 in first round
3 in the second round
5 in the third round
1 in the fourth round
1 in 5th round
2 in the 6th round
Of the 16 UAAP alumni drafted, only 10 were on rosters for the last Commissioner’s Cup.

In the 2014 PBA Draft,
3 in first round
3 in the second round
2 in the third round
Of the eight UAAP alumni drafted, only four were on rosters for the last Commissioner’s Cup.

In the 2013 PBA Draft,
6 in first round 
7 in second round 
4 in third 
1 in fourth
3 in fifth
1 in sixth
1 in seventh
Of the 23 UAAP alumni drafted, only 12 were on rosters for the last Commissioner’s Cup

In the 2012 PBA Draft, 
2 in first round 
5 in second 
5 in third round 
3 in fourth round
1 in fifth round
Of the 16 UAAP alumni drafted, only two were on rosters for the last Commissioner’s Cup.

Here is the breakdown of UAAP alumni per team:
Phoenix - 8
Rain or Shine - 7 
Ginebra -7 
Mahindra - 7
GlobalPort - 7
Talk ’N Text - 6
BlackWater - 6
NLEX - 6
Star - 5
Meralco - 4
San Miguel - 3
Alaska - 3

Of the 69 current UAAP alumni playing in the PBA (were on rosters for the last Commissioner’s Cup), 30 were drafted in the last four years. Imagine if the PBA did not expand their number of teams from 10 to 12. 

So what numbers of players UAAP alums are they thinking?

It is a fallacy to say that these student-athletes should be in the PBA. For many student-athletes, the UAAP is the pinnacle of their athletic careers. If you look at the high school ranks, not many will go on to play college ball. So every level one moves up, the pool gets smaller and the competition for slots, especially in the pros gets smaller. 

It is nice to know that the UAAP has come to its senses. But what was the point behind that move that has caused undue stress?

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