Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Jerie Pingoy Plot Thickens

I guessed it: FEU won't give Jerie Pingoy his release papers that would let him play for Ateneo de Manila University in UAAP Season 76 without serving the two-year residency period now required of high school graduates of a UAAP member-school who transfer to another for college.

The Far Eastern University camp—well, the school's representative to the UAAP Board of Trustees and Tamaraws team manager Anton Montinola, at least—must be royally ticked at the two-time UAAP Juniors Most Valuable Player. Consider these statements in the Spin.ph article linked to above:
"No," Montinola stated curtly in a text message to Spin.ph when asked if FEU will give Pingoy his release papers.

"He may transfer to San Beda so that he can play already this June 2013 in the NCAA. No need to sit for two years residency if he plays in the NCAA," Montinola said.

"ADMU officials and the UAAP board are aware of this solution," Montinola, incidentally an Ateneo alumnus, added.
Wow, you can almost feel the spite from here. But why the intransigence?

The whole truth will only ever be known to UAAP insiders, but the public statements of the personalities involved perhaps give the general public the rudiments of the story.

It appears the then-eighteen-year-old Pingoy, assisted by his father, had already committed, in writing no less, to go to FEU for college and play for the Tamaraws. The school's athletic director revealed this as early as October 2012 when the Pingoy-to-Ateneo news first surfaced.

Montinola also said as much in another Spin.ph story:
"Hindi naman siya ang nagsalita, it's the father and hindi si Koko (Pingoy's nickname)," said Montinola. "And yes, we have a signed contract. There is nothing really to comment about here because ang sinasabi ni Koko, gusto niya maglaro para sa FEU."

"Sana naman, respetuhin 'yung kagustuhan ng bata dahil siya naman ang maglalaro. We will see, but as far as we know, Koko wants to play for FEU," he said.
Pingoy, however, had a different take:
"It’s not an official contract. It’s just an agreement that states that FEU will support my schooling as well as my siblings' next season, should I join them."
Take note: "should." The FEU camp, on the other hand, apparently believed that Pingoy would join the Tams. And therein lies the root of their seeming pique.

But honestly now, does anyone truly believe the (disingenuous) justification that the Pingoy rule was intended to protect the high school programs of UAAP member-schools? Or that it merely seeks to synchronize the various residency periods required by the league?

Let's face it: the lengthening of the residency period was meant to discourage Pingoy from going to Ateneo, the athletes from less-prominent sports getting caught in the crossfire be damned. This refusal to sign his release papers is meant to punish him for sticking with his decision to join the Blue Eagles, and to spite Ateneo for engineering what may turn out to be a recruitment coup.

The FEU camp should get off their high horse and quit this petty and ridiculous attempt at making an example out of Pingoy and Ateneo. They're only cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Check out this story from the US NCAA. Sounds familiar?

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