Bad decision

Auburn officially finished seventh at the men’s CAA Championships last March in College Station, Texas with 236 points. Actually, the War Eagles should have finished third with 333 points. Here’s what happened:

When one swimmer missed the start of his prelim race on the final day, NCAA officials invoked a draconian rule-soon to be changed because of its undue severity-that eliminates all of the points the swimmer has earned, including any relays on which he has swum, and disqualifies him (and his relay teammates) from any upcoming events in which he is entered.

That cost the War Eagles 97 points. No other violation in the NCAA Rule Book is so costly.

Under Rule 4 (2), the NCAA meet committee-which is responsible for the conduct of the meet-has the discretionary power to set aside the application of a rule when it results in apparent unfairness. Upon learning of the penalty meted out to Auburn, Texas A&M coach Mel Nash and Texas coach Eddie Reese immediately circulated a petition-which was signed by all but two of the coaches on deck-asking the meet committee to do just that, while Auburn coach Dave Marsh also appealed the decision. The meet committee rejected both the petition and appeal, and upheld the decision to penalize Auburn.

More NCAA News

Good Move. The NCAA took some positive steps long advocated by Swimming World at the women’s championships in Long Island. To help fill the stands, discounted tickets were offered to area teenage swimmers, who filled almost every available seat. In addition, seminars on such topics as choosing a college where you can compete, and achieving your goals, were offered to the teens, featuring such luminaries as 1992 Olympic champion Anita Nall.

…. And no move. Despite expectations, the NCAA postponed for one year consideration of several proposals to allow college athletes to accept prize money for their performances at major events, such as the Olympics and World Championships.


She’s everywhere, she’s everywhere! The next time you get in a cab in the Big Apple, don’t be surprised when you hear Olympic gold medalist Dara Torres reminding you to buckle up. New York cabbies use recorded announcements, mostly by N.Y. show-biz personalities, to get people to fasten their seat belts. Dara is the first swimmer so honored.

So’s she. Olympic champ Misty Hyman is the only swimmer featured in TV ads on TNT to promote the Goodwill Games next September in Australia.

And he. NOVA’s Aaron Peirsol appears on the cover of the March 2001 issue of Revista Natacao, the magazine of the Portuguese Swimming Federation.

Kaitlin’s a Trojan. Olympian Kaitlin Sandeno, the nation’s most sought-after high school senior, signed a letter of intent with USC in April.

USOC Reps. Chris Duplanty, a member of the U.S. water polo teams at the 1988 (silver medal) and 1992 Olympics, captain of the 1996 team and assistant coach of the U.S. women’s team (silver medal) in Sydney, has been elected vice president of the Athletes’ Advisory Council of the USOC. Duplanty also swam for the University of California at Irvine from 1984-88. Today, he remains active in the sport as a member of U.S. Masters Swimming.

1996 Olympic gold medalist (400 MR) Mark Henderson was elected as swimming’s rep to the AAC. Second Fastest. On Feb. 17 at an Ohio district meet, Ursuline Academy’s Tami Ransom turned in the second fastest 200 IM ever swum by a high school girl. The Stanford-bound senior clocked 1:58.76, just shy of the national independent school mark of 1:58.45 set last year by Natalie Coughlin. The public school record is 1:58.91, held by Allison Wagner.

Qi keys on record. China’s Qi Hui, 16, broke Penny Heyns’ world record in the 200 meter breaststroke on April 13 at the Chinese nationals. Qi’s 2:22.99 smashed Heyns’ mark of 2:23.46 set in 1999. Qi’s splits: 33.37, 1:10.00, 1:46.64, 2:22.99.


Hall of Fame. Twelve aquatic notatiles, including four of the greatest swimmers in recent history, were inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale on May 12. Americans Janet Evans, Jeff Rouse, Tom Jager and Hungary’s Kristina Egerszegi topped the star-studded list of inductees. “Eger,” a new mom, was unable to attend.

Divers Wendy Wyland (USA) and Carlos Giron (MEX) were also honored, as were Canadian synchro star Michelle Calkins, Soviet water polo player Alexander Kabanov and Japanese swim coach Kouji Katoh. Patty Robinson Fulton became the first Masters diver to enter the Hall.

Nick Thierry, founder and publisher of the Canadian magazine, SwimNews, and Robert Hoffman, founder and publisher of Four Pool Publications, were also honored.

Swim with Josh. On May 20, the Josh Davis Aquatic Center was dedicated in San Antonio. Davis, the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic team co-captain, was honored at a ceremony opening the 50-meter facility.

That’s “Dr. Jenny” from now on. Jenny Thompson, whose 10 Olympic gold medals are more than any other American woman has won in any sport, plans to begin her studies at Columbia University Medical School in August. But you can start calling her “Dr.” now. On May 12, Jenny was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at commencement exercises at Daniel Webster College in her home state of New Hampshire.

Kim’s outstanding! The honors keep pouring in for Olympian and scholarathlete extraordinaire, Kim Black, of the NCAA champion Georgia Bulldogs. In April, Black, who maintained a 4.0 average while majoring in biology, was named the female recipient of the 2000-2001 H. Boyd McWhorter Southeastern Conference ScholarAthlete of the Year award. Last month she was honored by the NCAA with the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship. Black, the first Georgia athlete and only the third swimmer to win the prestigious Byers award, is a member of the U.S. team that will compete at the World University Games this summer in Beijing.

Copyright Sports Publications, Inc. Jun 2001

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