THE dreaded COVID-19 pandemic is making athletes older and losing their eligibility in the NCAA.
Despite this, according to a highly-reliable Malaya-Business Insight source, the league is unlikely to extend the age limit of players.
“Nagkasundo na kami na hindi tatakbo ang playing years (after the remainder of the 95th season was scrapped), ang problema, iyong age kasi, inurong na namin,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. “Masyado ng tatanda kapag inurong mo pa.”
From the original 25-year-old limit, the country’s oldest collegiate league extended the cap to 26 this year after the rest of the 95th season was called off for good in March last year at the start of the government-imposed quarantine measures to curb the lethal contagion.
Indoor volleyball, football, lawn tennis, soft tennis, track and field, beach volleyball, and cheerleading were cancelled last season.
With only online events such as online chess and taekwondo (Poomsae and speed kicking) set to be played in the 96th season to be hosted by Letran, the source said athletes seeing action in other sports who will be over the limit will be ineligible.
“Last year, must not be 25. Ngayon, must not be 26. Kapag iuurong pa natin na must not be 27, matanda na masyado, ‘di ba?” the source said.
“Mayroon na kaming agreement in principle na huwag na nating i-extend pa iyong edad.”
Among the options the country’s oldest collegiate league considered was holding its new season in a bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
The plan was scrapped due to the whopping P40 million estimated cost and the absence of the green light from the government, however.
The Commission on Higher Education released the safety and health guidelines for the resumption of varsity training last October.