PBA Commissioner Chito Salud yesterday declared that he will not hesitate to throw the book at erring teams if he established proof of alleged salary cap violations.
“Should I find actionable cases of salary cap breach, I will not waste time sanctioning the guilty parties. Violators be warned,” Salud cautioned.
In the same breath, the PBA chieftain also reminded Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu to be careful with his allegations of salary cap violations by some teams.
During a press conference last Thursday, the outspoken executive said his team would leave the PBA if the league can’t control salary cap violations.
“The matters that he brought up, particularly the alleged violations
of salary cap, are critical issues which must be discussed in reasonable manner, primarily within the confines of the PBA board room.
“To be clear, what Mr. Uytengsu advocates -- the upholding of the rules of the league -- is also my advocacy. I believe that the vast majority of our players and team officials abide by the rules, so it is unfair to tar them with sweeping statements,” Salud said.
“Let’s call a spade, a spade. By its very nature, this is one issue where proof is hard to come by and inuendos easy to make. But it does not mean it does not happen.”
At present there are 15 players who are being paid the maximum salary out of the 140 or so players with live contracts in the PBA.
Salud revealed they are being monitored by the Commissioner’s Office along with other players who are being paid close to the maximum salary.
He stressed that he has taken a pro-active position on the matter, but with discretion on the issue by not being vocal about it to prevent a trial by publicity.
“There are legitimate reasons for a player to move from one team to another; better chance at a championship, better coach-player chemistry, more playing time, etc. In short, it’s not just about the money,” Salud stressed.
Salud stressed that he strictly examines player movement and decides to look deeper into it if he finds reason to so.
He said it is not true that nothing can be done to address the issue. “I can bring in external parties, if necessary, to allow for deeper scrutiny.
“I will consult with all the team owners individually and harness
their collective experience and viewpoint on the matter to resolve
once and for all accusations of salary cap violations,” he said.
-- PBA Media Bureau