By MICHAEL JUGADO
THE gripping effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have taken their toll on Colegio de San Juan Letran.
Letran rector and president Fr. Clarence Marquez, OP, has recommended that the school downsize its athletics operations, cut budgets, control cash flow, and manage limited resources to make up from losses caused by the deadly pandemic.
This means the Intramuros-based school will have to withdraw from nine NCAA events, namely, seniors volleyball (men and women), seniors beach volleyball (women), seniors football, seniors swimming (men and women), seniors track and field, seniors taekwondo (women), juniors track and field, and juniors taekwondo.
“These are most difficult times for the Colegio. It is with a heavy heart that we are deciding on this matter. Yet we continue to pray for the good health, safety, and well-being of all our student-athletes and coaches,” Marquez said.
“In God’s time, the Colegio looks forward to the return of our student-athletes in full strength and numbers and quality to render honor and glory to our beloved Alma Mater.”
As part of the downsizing, Letran will send home its student-athletes for the school’s third term (June to July 2020) to reduce dormitory and meal expenses.
In the first semester of 2020-2021, athletic scholarships and discounts will only be to granted to a maximum of 372 students, with the scholarship committee re-evaluating the scholarships in the second semester.
Dormitory and meal expenses for student-athletes will be reduced to 25 percent of the previous allocation and will only be given to “economically-disadvantaged” student-athletes.
Scholarships will no longer given to team B players of the juniors’ squad and other recruits not included in the official NCAA line-up.
Student-athletes who have finished their NCAA eligibility but are still finishing their degrees will still have their scholarship or discounts for a period of one academic year. However, they will no longer have dorm and meal privileges.
Coaches’ salaries will be cut down by 50 percent if and when NCAA Season 96, which Letran is set to host, will either be suspended, delayed, or scaled-down.