Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete


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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gh » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:50 am

polevaultpower wrote:I….
But I don't know how the NCAA can grant her any kind of waiver to compete, without doing so for ALL schools in a similar situation....


I think that's the disconnect: making this about schools rather than about athletes. I think they can/should review on a by-athlete basis, and Spenner's academic circumstances, I would posit, demand that she be treated differently than everybody else. Doesn't mean there aren't others who don't deserve the same, but this one-size-fits-all mentality is cruel & unusual punishment.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:04 am

bambam wrote:Jay Bilas just tweeted about this and linked to the TAFNews website

I used to count myself as a big Jay Bilas fan, but now all he does is bloviate about the NCAA and officials, and it's been a real turnoff.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:13 am

I'm sorry, but she knew the score when she got into this. She should be lucky that she didn't go play at UNO for a couple years and then get her sport dropped like what happened to their football players.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby aaronk » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:19 am

I'm taking a hard-line view on this.....as I do most things!! :evil:

I say this to the NCAA bigwigs (or lard-asses----choose one!):

Let Sami compete or
have all T&F competitors and teams....

BOYCOTT the 2014 NCAA Championships!!

This is a SHAMEFUL and COWARDLY and plain old STUPID act on the part of the NCAA!!!

Let her in, damn it!!!!!
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gm » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:29 am

gh wrote:
polevaultpower wrote:I….
But I don't know how the NCAA can grant her any kind of waiver to compete, without doing so for ALL schools in a similar situation....


Spenner's academic circumstances, I would posit, demand that she be treated differently than everybody else.


There aren't any other "exercise science" programs in the NCAA? I read through the UNO catalog and it didn't jump out at me as anything particularly exclusive/different.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gh » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:35 am

the other part of that equation is that she had a full ride: she's supposed to hope she can find a school with her chosen major that's going to offer her that? That ups the ante.

To say nothing of the problem one frequently seems to have in transferring schools: getting full credit for courses already taken.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby polevaultpower » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:42 am

There is some merit to gh's point. I attended three universities. I transferred to the third after seven semesters at the other two schools.

Transferring sucks. If you transfer out of the state (or to a private school), you end up needing totally different general education requirements.

I did two years at University of Florida, took pretty much all gen-ed stuff. When I transferred to University of Georgia, I needed a whole additional semester of gen-eds. My anatomy and physiology classes were not considered core sciences, because they weren't on some stupid list, so I had to take a class on weather and a class on computer programming. I also had to take an additional history class, an additional writing class, and political science.

When I transferred to Lindenwood, having been a semester and some change away from graduation at Georgia, I suddenly needed another semester of gen-ed classes. I had to take two literature classes, a religion class, and another history class. They were going to make me take a foreign language class, some appeal I made was denied, but the staff turnover there was such that I was able to appeal again to some new person and got that granted. I also was supposed to take some intro to Economics class, because the more advance Macroeconomics class that I had taken did not cover Micro, and if I took Micro, those two classes would combine to meet that one requirement, and then I would still need one more business elective, so I ended up working out a deal with the head of the department where I independently studied Micro, took and passed the final, and he waived the requirement.

Anyway, that's a long way of saying that transferring this late in her college career would likely be a real PITA for Spenner, academically. Even if other schools offer great exercise science programs, you end up with all kinds of weird BS like I described above, and believe me, that is just scratching the surface as far as the academic bullshit I went through at Lindenwood...
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby polevaultpower » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:49 am

I never had problems getting credit for my classes already taken, largely because all three schools were on the semester system. If you try to transfer between schools when one school is on quarters and one on semesters, it gets trickier, you often do lose credits.

Also, different schools line up their classes differently. For example, at Florida, I took Human Anatomy with lab, and Human Physiology with lab. At Georgia and Lindenwood, they did A&P 1 and A&P 2. Fortunately, since I took BOTH classes, I was able to get credit for A&P 1 and 2, but had I only taken Anatomy or only taken Physiology, I would have been screwed in a transfer.

I also got lucky, I took some honors writing class at Florida called "Writing and Love" where I remember watching movies about Gandhi, Ali and learning about the Zone Diet. Fortunately, Georgia and Lindenwood accepted that in lieu of English Composition 1.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby bambam » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:11 am

gh wrote:I must be out of touch (or don't watch enough hoops). Had to google Jay Bilas.


In addition to being a former Duke hoopster and ESPN basketball television analyst, he has been very outspoken about his dislike of the NCAA and the way they treat athletes.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby decafan » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:39 am

JumboElliott wrote:I'm sorry, but she knew the score when she got into this. She should be lucky that she didn't go play at UNO for a couple years and then get her sport dropped like what happened to their football players.


Very compassionate response. Cold and offensive. And why do you think she knew the score? You believe she could have predicted that she would take on a new event and become one of the best in America? Or can we maybe assume this was a very happy surprise for her and her coaches.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby polevaultpower » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:43 am

Well, focusing on the positive here, is she planning to compete at USATF Indoors? I assume her school is not in a conference yet, and she doesn't have NCAAs to prep for. Is the IP a World Championship event?
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby skyin' brian » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:53 am

Out of curiosity, when a school is transitioning, are they considered to be DII, DI, or neither?

I can see the slippery slope argument here as well as the fact that the 4 year waiting period is excessive.

It is also unfair to the eventual pent champion since she will win without facing some of the best competition.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gh » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:01 am

they're Div. 0
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby skyin' brian » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:21 am

gh wrote:they're Div. 0


If that's the case, how is this different from a Division III athlete asking to compete in a DI championship (though I understand that was possible many years ago).
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gm » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:09 pm

When we were in the same situation as a transitional university, we made it extremely clear to incoming freshmen and transfers that they would NOT be eligible to compete in any NCAA competition at all until year five of the transition.

We lost some recruits because of it, but it was never a question of appealing anything, even if someone had been good enough to go on to postseason. Our final year of transition we had several people who likely would have made the "first round" meet.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gh » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:37 pm

yeah, but if you'd had a volleyball player turn out for track in mid-career and suddenly she was a world-beater, can you really say you wouldn't at least have entertained thoughts about a petition? I would think you'd feel you really owed it to your athlete (and even if yuou didn't, you'd feel forced by peer-group pressure from the rest of the team to do what was right, or risk losing them, no?)
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:01 pm

decafan wrote:
JumboElliott wrote:I'm sorry, but she knew the score when she got into this. She should be lucky that she didn't go play at UNO for a couple years and then get her sport dropped like what happened to their football players.


Very compassionate response. Cold and offensive. And why do you think she knew the score? You believe she could have predicted that she would take on a new event and become one of the best in America? Or can we maybe assume this was a very happy surprise for her and her coaches.

The fact that she is a national elite does not mean that she deserves preferential treatment. Her case is not extraordinary. I can almost 100% guarantee you that she could have gotten a full ride at another school with a better exercise science program based on her accomplishments on the track.

I feel bad that she can't compete in the NCAA Championship, but it was ultimately a situation she had control of.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby decafan » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:16 pm

JumboElliott wrote:
decafan wrote:
JumboElliott wrote:I'm sorry, but she knew the score when she got into this. She should be lucky that she didn't go play at UNO for a couple years and then get her sport dropped like what happened to their football players.


Very compassionate response. Cold and offensive. And why do you think she knew the score? You believe she could have predicted that she would take on a new event and become one of the best in America? Or can we maybe assume this was a very happy surprise for her and her coaches.

The fact that she is a national elite does not mean that she deserves preferential treatment. Her case is not extraordinary. I can almost 100% guarantee you that she could have gotten a full ride at another school with a better exercise science program based on her accomplishments on the track.

I feel bad that she can't compete in the NCAA Championship, but it was ultimately a situation she had control of.


Her case in not extraordinary??? Let's see, she played volleyball at Wayne State her freshman year ('09-'10). It didn't work out, so she transferred to UNO midyear to pursue academics and give up athletics. Once at UNO she decided to give track and field a try (she only competed her sr yr of HS). Her first year was (outdoors '10) nothing to write home about as a jumper and her coach suggested she give the heptathlon a try. And here we are today. You feel her ascent was even remotely predictable? She had control of the situation in what way? Walk me through it. And please enlighten me on even one other athlete who fits into her situation that makes her "ordinary."
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby MJR » Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:46 pm

polevaultpower wrote:
MJR wrote:At least the NCAA contests the event and allows support of athletes who want to compete in it.



^^ bitter race walker, in case anyone missed it ;)


Yes, I'm frankly annoyed that the discussion of the "injustice" of a rule that she should have been informed about by her coach even before starting school is more important than the complete institutional disregard of the interests of literally hundreds of potential collegiate athletes who are denied the opportunity to compete at all. NCAA & coaches' priorities are so warped and indefensible.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:41 pm

decafan wrote:Her case in not extraordinary??? Let's see, she played volleyball at Wayne State her freshman year ('09-'10). It didn't work out, so she transferred to UNO midyear to pursue academics and give up athletics. Once at UNO she decided to give track and field a try (she only competed her sr yr of HS). Her first year was (outdoors '10) nothing to write home about as a jumper and her coach suggested she give the heptathlon a try. And here we are today. You feel her ascent was even remotely predictable? She had control of the situation in what way? Walk me through it. And please enlighten me on even one other athlete who fits into her situation that makes her "ordinary."

Her ascent or her ability is of no consequence here. An extraordinary situation would be an athlete who has to return home to a transitioning school because of a family emergency. That she is Omaha is 100% of her doing, and it was her decision to stay there knowing full well the consequences of that decision on her athletic career.

Hardship waivers are difficult to get for a very valid reason.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:45 pm

JumboElliott wrote:Her ascent or her ability is of no consequence here.


If you think this is true, then you clearly have a problem with reading comprehension. I would bet the that odds of those reading this thread, much less those commenting on it, do not remotely things that her ability is of no consequence here. As gh said, almost everything about these rules has been driven by the big two (FB, BB) with no thought given to the individual variability implied by a sport like track and field.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby JumboElliott » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:41 pm

Let's continue to act like she's at Caltech and there's no other school she could have gone to where she would have the opportunity to do the exact same thing, let alone no others in her own state.

http://cehs.unl.edu/nhs/undergrad/nfhp.shtml
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby Grasshopper » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:26 pm

Let's continue to act like transferring school's would be in her academic best interest, which the NCAA likes to pretend it encourages athletes to prioritize above athletics. :roll:
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:08 am

Becca laid out some of the perils of transferring quite nicely, and like Becca, for Spenner it would be a second time running that gantlet. Why wish that on anybody just to satisfy a bunch of suits in Indianapolis?
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby ATK » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:11 am

what does the NCAA define as unique or what would fall into that category?
The only uniqueness here really is that she wasn't planning to participate in track and just happens to become #1 in the NCAA.
She did have a choice, but this isn't a situation that she completely could have controlled since she didn't get recruited or go to Omaha with intentions of running to begin with, but the NCAA really isn't at fault either. It's a ridiculous rule, but it's not as if they changed it just this year.
Like someone said earlier, a school doesn't just wake up and decide they want to move to D1 that same year. There was planing and preparation that was potentially started when she was still playing volleyball at Wayne state.
The school chose to move to D1, the NCAA is just enforcing the rules that have been in place, as ridiculous as they may be. She stated that she was made aware of the repercussions if she stayed, and she chose to stay because of he academics. But it kind of doesn’t make sense to turn back/complain about it now when you had the choice to move and achieve your athletic goals elsewhere....unless her coach initially introduced the petition idea and convinced her that it would be successful.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby polevaultpower » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:31 am

If I am reading this right, she started school 2009-2010, so she's now in her 5th year, right? Transferring is flat out not an option for her. I get that some of you are saying she should have transferred last year, but I don't think her marks were such at that time that she would have had many full-ride offers, especially at a school with a good multis coach, and like I posted before, it's a huge PITA to transfer so close to graduation.

Wouldn't it be more productive for Spenner and her coach to focus on winning USATF Indoors (she can represent her school there) and trying to make the World Indoor Championship team? I feel like all of this emotional energy is being wasted in hopes the NCAA will change their mind, which I just don't see happening.

I would love to see her have the opportunity to compete at NCAAs. I totally understand why she chose to stick with her school. But there are other opportunities that exist for her...
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby polevaultpower » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:37 am

For the Combined Events, eight athletes will be invited by the IAAF in the Heptathlon and in the Pentathlon as follows:
the winner of the 2013 Combined Events Challenge
the three best athletes from the 2013 Outdoor Lists (as at 31 December 2013), limited to a maximum of one per country
the three best athletes from the 2014 Indoor Lists (as at 17 February 2014)
one athlete which may be invited at the discretion of the IAAF


She is currently ranked 3rd in the world in the indoor pent (according to Tilastopaja). I don't have time to look and see if any of the athletes ahead of her meet the other criteria. I don't know what heps plan to compete between now and the 17th.

I just hope that she and her coach are aware of all this ^^^ It's an honor to be even in the mix for something like Worlds.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby ATK » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:45 am

polevaultpower wrote:If I am reading this right, she started school 2009-2010, so she's now in her 5th year, right? Transferring is flat out not an option for her. I get that some of you are saying she should have transferred last year, but I don't think her marks were such at that time that she would have had many full-ride offers, especially at a school with a good multis coach, and like I posted before, it's a huge PITA to transfer so close to graduation.

I think people are more on the side that when here school began the transition after spring 2011, she had the choice to transfer. Like you said, transferring now would be ridiculous.

Also, is she on a full ride through track or academic scholarships, or a combination? Because she came to Omaha with no track intentions, so was she on full academic scholarship then?
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby dec7000 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:45 am

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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby 18.99s » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:30 am

JumboElliott wrote:That wouldn't be fair for the other division two schools, because the school would be recruiting superior athletes on the promise that they'll be competing in division one.

But it's more unfair to make the athletes in the transitioning school have to sit out post-season competitions.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby 18.99s » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:45 am

ATK wrote:I think people are more on the side that when here school began the transition after spring 2011, she had the choice to transfer. Like you said, transferring now would be ridiculous.


It's not apparent that she was good enough back in 2011 for another school to give her a full ride, and she probably also wasn't good enough back then to make the NCAA championships anyway, so transferring at that time wouldn't make sense.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby 18.99s » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:56 am

polevaultpower wrote:That's not the worst idea in the world, those school typically do not have many athletes qualifying for NCAAs, so the impact would likely be small.

But that's all the more reason why they shouldn't have such a ban. Very few recent upgrades from D2 are good enough to qualify for D1 post-season play, so in nearly all cases the problem takes care of itself. Let the very few who are good enough get to move on to the post-season if their record qualifies them for it.

If the NCAA doesn't want schools to move up, then just deny them, don't make the athletes suffer.


Exactly. If n schools changing to D1 per year is too much, set a hard limit of n-1 or n-2 or whatever, and have a selection process to determine who is picked when there are more applicants than the limit. Also consider relegating low-performing schools to D2.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby lonewolf » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:48 pm

The NCAA does lots of things I do not agree with. I do not know all the problems involved in moving from DII to DI but my instinct/reaction is that four years is too long.
The young lady has a litany of reasons for her course of action. We can second guess but do not know the true circumstances at every moment of decision.
That said, I am big on common sense and believe there should be a provision for accomodating athletes who have demonstrated superior qualification, regardless of their school status.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby TrackTeacher_AP » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:22 am

Something related to the high-level Pentathaletes. Recently Akela Jones of Oklahoma Baptist competed in her first pent, scoring a 4194. It was her first time running the 800 (2:39.62) and shot (12.19) collegiately. Yesterday she improved her shot to 14.16m.
Plugging in her pb I had her scoring 4407. If she were to run even a 2:30 (definitely possible) she could score over 4500. Im not sure where that puts her worldwide but for an NAIA (transitioning to D2) its definitely something worth noting.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:52 am

TrackTeacher_AP wrote:Something related to the high-level Pentathaletes. Recently Akela Jones of Oklahoma Baptist competed in her first pent, scoring a 4194. It was her first time running the 800 (2:39.62) and shot (12.19) collegiately. Yesterday she improved her shot to 14.16m.
Plugging in her pb I had her scoring 4407. If she were to run even a 2:30 (definitely possible) she could score over 4500. Im not sure where that puts her worldwide but for an NAIA (transitioning to D2) its definitely something worth noting.


Is OBU still NAIA or are they also in no-man's land right now?

I'm so sad that so many NAIA schools have gone to the NCAA, including my alma mater :(
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby TrackTeacher_AP » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:40 pm

polevaultpower wrote:
TrackTeacher_AP wrote:Something related to the high-level Pentathaletes. Recently Akela Jones of Oklahoma Baptist competed in her first pent, scoring a 4194. It was her first time running the 800 (2:39.62) and shot (12.19) collegiately. Yesterday she improved her shot to 14.16m.
Plugging in her pb I had her scoring 4407. If she were to run even a 2:30 (definitely possible) she could score over 4500. Im not sure where that puts her worldwide but for an NAIA (transitioning to D2) its definitely something worth noting.


Is OBU still NAIA or are they also in no-man's land right now?

I'm so sad that so many NAIA schools have gone to the NCAA, including my alma mater :(

They applied this year to go ncaa d2, somi dont know if that means next year theyll be competing in the nccaa? Or whatever that in between national championships are called.. but I think its a 2 year probationary period.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby gh » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:48 am

The school has now filed a formal waiver request for Spenner for the Nationals.
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby aaronk » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:54 am

gh wrote:The school has now filed a formal waiver request for Spenner for the Nationals.


Haven't read everything on this thread, so pardon me if I missed something.
But the entry list for the Pent. has Spenner listed as qualified and declared!
She's in!

Oops!! :oops:
Did you mean NCAA nationals?
Or USATF nationals?

I was referring to the latter!
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Re: Best Pentathlete in NCAA Can't Compete

Postby KevinM » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:37 am

aaronk wrote:
gh wrote:The school has now filed a formal waiver request for Spenner for the Nationals.


Haven't read everything on this thread, so pardon me if I missed something.
But the entry list for the Pent. has Spenner listed as qualified and declared!
She's in!

Oops!! :oops:
Did you mean NCAA nationals?
Or USATF nationals?

I was referring to the latter!


This thread is about the former, as NCAA eligibility would have no impact on USATF entry.
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