MANILA, Philippines -- The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) on Monday slapped a one-year suspension on Philippine Christian University after four members of the school?s junior basketball team were found guilty of using bogus identities.
?The NCAA policy board unanimously decided to suspend (PCU) for one year in all events of the 83rd season of the NCAA effective immediately,? said NCAA policy board president Vincent Fabella of Jose Rizal University, in a statement released after a special meeting held at JRU.
?The findings of both the inquiry of NCAA Management Committee and investigation of PCU has proven that there was indeed identity switching. The policy board considered this finding as a grave violation of the core objectives of the NCAA,? Fabella added.
The league imposed its first year-long ban on a member for eligibility infraction after the two NCAA probe bodies were able to establish that junior players JP Importante, James and Cesar Degano and Victor Miguel Oliveros used falsified school records to get into the Baby Dolphins lineup.
The four players were ordered banned from the NCAA and the Baby Dolphins were asked to return their second-place trophy together with individual awards.
PCU president Oscar Suarez said the school is accepting the decision of the NCAA policy board, which also called for the forfeiture of PCU?s third place overall trophy in the high school division.
?This is a lesson learned,?' said Suarez in another statement. ?Just because of some erring personnel and athletes our school was gravely affected.?
However, the Dolphins will get to keep their seniors overall championship.
How the four players pulled off the identity switch was not clearly explained. Officials merely said that the players submitted the school records of either a brother or a cousin to meet the 18-year age limit for high school cagers.
Fred Olano, PCU?s representative to the management committee, said they have already fired the coaching staff of the junior squad headed by Bong Sales.
The decision recalls a similar ban imposed by the UAAP on De La Salle University last year for fielding two ineligible senior basketball players.
The NCAA mancom members reportedly sought the season ban on PCU after receiving more evidences of fraud committed by the school in other sports.
But the statement from Fabella did not mention any other PCU violation.
The Dolphins finished second San Beda College last year and would have introduced junior stalwarts like MVP Elvin Pascual to this year?s senior team.