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‘Uncalled for’


Lady Warriors volleyball coach gets suspended

UE head coach Jerry Yee feels he doesn’t deserve to be slapped with a suspension by the UAAP. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP

University of the East women’s volleyball head coach Jerry Yee had his first year with the Lady Warriors cut short after the University Athletic Association of the Philippines suspended him for the rest of Season 86.

The decision came following a complaint raised by a member school for “committing acts that are inconsistent with the purposes of the Association.”

“The decision follows a complaint raised by a member school against Coach Yee on account of conduct violative of the purposes of the UAAP — a platform for Member Universities to foster camaraderie and fair play,” the UAAP statement said on Sunday.

Yee’s suspension from his coaching duties also bars him from attending games.

He, however, “retains the ability to train the UE Lady Warriors and coach the team in non-UAAP events. Additionally, the suspension will not impact the team’s record in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.”

Yee, who took the UE coaching stint after parting ways with Adamson University following a third place finish last season, called the shots in the Lady Warriors’ first three games — winning only one match.

“After a thorough deliberation by the UAAP Board of Managing Directors, a recommendation was elevated to the Board of Trustees,” the UAAP said.

“On February 29, 2024, the BOT concurred with the BMD findings that Coach Yee had engaged in acts inconsistent with the league’s objectives.”

“The UAAP, as an organization of educational institutions, prioritizes maintaining a close-knit relationship among its eight member schools through healthy competition and demands the highest ethical and professional standards from those expected to mold the student-athletes.”

Yee mentioned that rumors of a complaint about his UE coaching job had been circulating before the start of the tournament.

“There was mention about this a few weeks ago before the start of the UAAP that the said university was trying to push for something like this. And then they had to heed the UAAP Board of Trustees and everything. We thought there was no basis, or it wouldn’t hold ground. But it is what it is,” he said.

Assistant coach Doc Obet Vital will handle the squad for the time being.

Yee spoke to the media on Sunday and expressed his utmost disappointment with the UAAP decision to suspend him for the rest of the season.

“Well, I think it’s uncalled for and I was denied due process. I mean, they didn’t take my side about this. I was also surprised. Shocked and surprised,” Yee said.

Although the league did not name which school filed the complaint, Yee in a written statement mentioned his former team many times. He explained that he and Adamson’s parting was a “mutual one.”

“We agreed that the partnership had run its course, and I felt like the time was right for me to take a new step in my career and face a new challenge,” he said.

Yee took the Adamson coaching job while also handling College of Saint Benilde in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

While at the helm of the Adamson women’s volleyball, Yee also grabbed the opportunity to coach the then-newcomer Farm Fresh in the Premier Volleyball League — which didn’t bode well with the Lady Falcons management.

Yee said he met with Adamson and its sponsor in the first week of June 2023 to discuss a mutual termination agreement and on 7 June issued a statement of release effectively terminating his services as coach of the Lady Falcons.

Yee’s departure was followed by a mass exodus of Adamson’s core including setter Louie Romero, rookie Trisha Tubu, Kate Santiago, Aprylle Tagsip, Rizza Cruz and Cae Lazo — who all turned pro and joined the Foxies.

He accepted UE’s offer to take charge of its women’s volleyball team on 21 June 2023.

“I maintain that there was no ethical breach in my decision to accept UE’s head coaching job, because it was a mutual parting of ways for both Adamson and I,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that this career decision of mine has been met with vitriol at the late-onset, borne out of vindictiveness ironically from an institution that prides itself in instilling Catholic virtues and teachings.”

Yee said that it was a bit odd that he received the UAAP decision coursed through the office of UE’s president just last Friday.

“I found out Friday afternoon. So probably strategies or what. So, Friday afternoon and well basically by the end of (office hours), so the appeal would be made probably Monday. Coach (Rod) Roque mentioned to me last time,” he said.

Coincidentally, UE had a scheduled match against Adamson on Sunday.

The league politely declined to elaborate and clarify the exact nature of Yee’s offense.

“An intent to file an appeal having been expressed, we deem it best to address matters in the proper forum, in fairness to all concerned,” the league said.

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