NCAA: No jab, no play

June 1, 2021 Theodore P. Jurado 161 views

The NCAA is planning to require its student-athletes to be inoculated against COVID-19 to become eligible in the tournaments.

The country’s oldest athletic league is also looking forward to putting together an information drive to curb vaccine hesitancy among their numbers.

“Pinu-push namin ‘yung vaccine information campaign,” said NCAA Management Committee chairman Fr. Vic Calvo of host Letran during yesterday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

The NCAA has already purchased vaccines for its student-athletes, coaches and officials.

Peter Cayco of Arellano, a member of the NCAA ManCom, said that the league is currently checking legalities regarding the vaccination requirements for the players.

“We are discussing right now, at saka we’re geared towards including the vaccination in the eligibility requirements of the athletes,” Cayco said in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Recognizing the rights of the student-athletes to choose whether they wanted to be inoculated or not, Cayco stressed that the NCAA is carefully planning on that move.

“We’re just clearing the details with our legal team, para wala naman tayong sabit pare-pareho,” said Cayco in the public sports session powered by Smart and official webcast partner Upstream Media.

“We have to respect their (students) freedom kasi baka maging legal issue ito,” said Calvo.

The NCAA is slated to open Season 96 on June 13, but only with virtual events in sports like chess, taekwondo (poomsae and speed kicking), basketball and volleyball.

Calvo pointed out that this unprecedented season will not be counted in the playing years of those student-athletes who will not compete this year.

“Some rules and requirements such as age, enrolment and grades shall be relaxed. Nasa resolution natin yan noong June 2020 pa. Hindi counted ito,” said Calvo. (Theodore P. Jurado)