Jao given greater authority in UAAP Season 77
MANILA, Philippines – UAAP Commissioner Andy Jao, who has been given the authority by the UAAP Board to make decisions on game-related issues, believes there will be no more repeat of last season's debacle that saw some appeals elevated to the Board.
There were several suspensions during the Season 76 basketball tournament, and in some cases, the schools opted to appeal those suspensions to the technical committee and then to the UAAP Board.
Two years ago, in Season 75, the Board memorably overturned a decision by then-Commissioner Ato Badolato, which led to a replay of a game between the FEU Tamaraws and the NU Bulldogs.
Similar incidents are unlikely to occur this season, Jao vowed during a press conference Monday ahead of the opening of the men's basketball tournament.
"I think they have given me (the authority) and I'm very appreciative of that," said Jao, who previously served as commissioner in Season 74.
"When I was presented to the Board, I gave them my thanks because they made it clear that as much as possible, there will be no elevation of decisions," he added.
"If I'm correct, I'll stand by that, and if I'm wrong, I'll apologize," he added. "But I think we will not see overturning of decisions, because it will be based on what the rules of the UAAP are."
UAAP Season 77 secretary-treasurer Rod Roque of the hosts University of the East told the Philippine Star that they gave the commissioner "higher authority" this time around.
"All appeals will go to him. There will be no more elevation of appeal to the board this year. Whatever the commissioner's decision is, it stays," he said.
Jao also promised to do his best to ensure "fair and honest officiating" throughout the tournament.
"There is no perfect game, whether it is officiating or coaching or playing, but we know the difference between a game that you can appreciate and a game that you cannot," he said.