NCAA honored that it will allow players to compete in pro leagues if they have a special guest license from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), announced yesterday via Zoom conference.

/ 14 November 2020

“Times have changed and this time, with the joint memorandum of the GAB and the PSC, we have to revisit our rules. The NCAA is a living organization and we have to adapt to the spirit of the times,” said NCAA Season 96 chairman Fr. Vic Calvo of host Letran. 

“We believe that this move is beneficial to both the athletes and the organization,” last season’s chair Peter Cayco of Arellano added.

Unlike the UAAP, NCAA decided to spread its wings and decided to get rid of the rule that a student-athlete, once drafted or even sign a contract in a pro league, will forfeit its playing eligibility.

With a GAB license, the players could play under the banner of pro teams either 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,” Calvo affirmed. 

“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.

Moreover, Cayco clarified that those students who opt to join pro leagues must secure first the approval of their respective school before the NCAA consents the application to GAB.

In addition, GAB legal division head Elmer Benitez believed that student-athletes having the chance to join pro leagues and play at collegiate tournaments will be a beneficial move for both the national team and the players.

‘Yung exposure kasi ng mga amateurs natin to the professional leagues, I’m sure maraming matutunan both ways…other teams from the SEA games and any other international meets are playing with the professionals, may exposure sila so why don’t we do it para ma-improve natin ang ating training pool?” the lawyer expounded.

With this dauntless move of the 96-year-old-league, it is beyond doubt that it will alter its constitution and by-laws. Nonetheless, Calvo ensured that they will do their best to preserve the spirit of amateurism.

“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,” he said.

The NCAA is looking for a Season 96 scheme early next year with only four sports, including centerpiece basketball and volleyball events and other sports as exhibition games.