Make Amateurs Great Again: Would a Foreign Student Athlete ban even be legal?
On Monday, partylist representative Mikee Romero filed House Resolution No. 388 (HR No. 388) and caused a flurry among college sports fans and media. HR No. 388 called on Congress to “stop and prohibit all collegiate and university leagues from recruiting, acquiring and using non-Filipino Citizens and Foreign Imports as players,” taking a stance on the long-standing debate that they “stop the growth and development of homegrown Filipino talents.” By contrasting these reasons with the poor performance of Gilas Pilipinas at the recently concluded FIBA World Cup, HR No. 388 seems to have taken its cues from the popularity of foreign student-athletes (FSAs) in collegiate basketball.
To clarify, a resolution is only a call to action or an expression of opinion, and since it does not actually trigger the law-making process, the member-schools of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) have little reason to be concerned.