NCAA eyeing starting Season 96  next year

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    THE possibility of the NCAA returning to action this year remains a far-flung possibility.

    No less than Season 95 Management Committee chair Peter Cayco of Arellano Univetsity opined as much, saying the league’s 96th season could begin only next year due to the uncertainties brought about by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Ang IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) ay may order na no sports events (indefinitely) and we have to follow that,” Cayco told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    “Once they give the go-signal na puwede na ulit ang sports events, hindi naman puwedeng sumabak agad,” he added.

    Cayco bared the ManCom has already submitted a proposal to the league’s Policy Board to move Season 96 to 2021.

    “Kapag puwede na ulit ang sports leagues, halimbawa by December 1 or January 1, kailangan ng players ng minimum na three months para magpa-kondisyon. By April, Holy Week na so ako, personally, inclined na mag-open ng May or June next year,” explained Cayco.

    “Depende pa rin talaga sa situation.”

    The country’s oldest collegiate league was not held only in World War II and its aftermath from 1942 to 1947 and, due to disagreements among member schools, in 1962-1963.

    Season 95 was terminated last March following the COVID-19 outbreak with events in indoor volleyball, football, lawn tennis, soft tennis, track and field, beach volleyball, and cheerleading scrapped after the season was called off for good.

    Athletes who did not finish or play in the shortened Season 95 should be given another year of eligibility.

    “Gusto naming bigyan ng extra year of eligibility iyong athletes na hindi nakatapos o nakapaglaro sa Season 95,” said Cayco.

    “Kung graduate na sila, bigyan ng chance, bigyan pa ng isa pang taon.”

    The financial repercussions of the health crisis also told heavily on the schools and the league and may force it to cancel some events in the coming season.

    “We all agree na kailangan mag-cut down ng events,” said Cayco. “Ang crucial lang ay may four mandatory events— basketball, swimming, volleyball, and track and field.”