The Lonely Athlete
Word is that the N.C.A.A. has (and will?) been keeping some coaches (and institutional funding) away from their pupils (at competitions) during this short window of time when track and field athletes are attempting to qualify for the Olympic Games and preparing to compete in said Games and their National Championships. One wonders if this will continue for the U.S. collegiates between the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games.
As usual, the N.C.A.A. is interpreting their rules from a very U.S.-centric point of view; assuming only the top-3 from one’s national championship meet will make the Olympic roster. While a common belief, it’s not even accurate for the U.S.A.
Two factors seem to be a mystery to the N.C.A.A.’s (and conferences’) myriad of compliance officers.
1.) Non-U.S. athletes need to produce their country’s Olympic standard; sometimes multiple times. This can be, and will be, done at some of these meets.
2.) With the new (2015) policy the I.O.C. will fill the field to thirty-two athletes based on the performance list. Even if one has not met the Olympic standard one can still make the Olympic start list if they are in the top-32. This would apply to U.S.-athletes in some events. When one improves their performance one moves up the list and increases their chance of being in Rio.
22.214.171.124 Competition While Representing Institution
An institution may provide actual and necessary travel expenses (e.g., transportation, lodging and meals) to a student-athlete for participation in athletics competition, provided the student-athlete is representing the institution (competes in the uniform of the institution) and is eligible for collegiate competition. Such competition includes:
a) Regularly scheduled intercollegiate athletics events;
b) NCAA championship events and NGB championship events in an emerging sport;
c) A certified postseason football game (see Bylaws 18.7 and 30.9 for conditions required for certification);
d) Non-collegiate open, amateur competition; and
e) Other institutional competition permissible under NCAA legislation, including postseason events.
126.96.36.199 Other Competition
During an academic year in which a student-athlete is eligible to represent an institution in athletics competition (or in the following summer), an institution may provide actual and necessary expenses related to participation in the following activities:
a) Established national championship events (including junior national championships);
b) Olympic, Pan American, World Championships, World Cup and World University Games qualifying competition; and
c) U.S.O.C. Olympic Festival basketball and volleyball tryouts.