The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently announced that they would no longer allow foreign student-athletes to compete by Season 96, which left a bad taste on a lot of people’s mouths.
Among those peeved with the new rule is former NCAA MVP Sudan Daniel, who has been vocal on social media about his displeasure with the upcoming change, which would take effect by year 2020.
In an exclusive online interview with FOX Sports PH, the erstwhile San Beda Red Lion did not hold back and bared why he thinks that the decision has more to do with politics rather than basketball.
“I think the ban is more counterproductive towards showing the world what ‘Pinoy Puso’ is all about. For a country that is attempting to demand respect internationally, the discrimination foreign student athletes have to endure quietly, for the most part, is absurd,” he said.
Some netizens were quick to point out that the Jio Jalalon incident in Season 92—where he was the only local player named in the Mythical 5—might have played a part in the controversial ruling.
Daniel, however, was quick to dismiss the rumors. “Jio’s incident had little or nothing to do with it,” he shared.
“In 2009, SSC-R beat San Beda College and there were numerous articles praising local talent in a boastful manner and how it didn’t matter if a team had an import because of what SSC-R displayed.”
The following year, the Daniel-led San Beda went undefeated in the elimination rounds and swept the defending champions San Sebastian Stags. Daniel bagged both the Season and Finals MVP that year.
“After obtaining 2 MVP awards and just about all the others, I feel that ignited something in the MANCOM,” Daniel said. “Later that month there was an article about a secret meeting between the NCAA schools (that didn’t have a foreign student athlete) about banning “Imports”.
He added: “One week after, I saw an article in the newspaper with my championship photo and the title read something like, ‘NCAA MANCOM To Ban Foreign Players’. What an attack on my race”.
Equal rights among all players
Daniel also emphasized his gratitude for the opportunity to play collegiate basketball and obtain a degree in the Philippines, but said he is not alone in thinking that the NCAA can improve its policies on foreign athletes.
“I care about everyone may they be local or foreign athletes because it’s the game that binds us together. We preach equality yet we have a country that oppresses young adults and teaches racism in their institutions as early as grade school,” he said.
“The fact that they can’t see how they will be hurting local talent by making things easier for them is preposterously insane. Fickle minded selfishness in the form of help all just for control has been a very common theme.”
Daniel, meanwhile, remained optimistic that other leagues like the UAAP won’t be influenced by the NCAA’s ban.
“This ban will only influence leagues that don’t have faith in local talent. I’d like to think that the UAAP believes deeply in their athletes as individuals and human being so, I doubt they’ll ban foreign student athletes. They know it’s bad for business,” he said.
“Following the NCAA lead is like trying to explain why the term ‘IMPORT’ is OK to use when relating to a human being. Just don’t.”
Photo Credit: Sudan Daniel Facebook page/Red Eye Photography
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