Controversy Reigns at NCAA Division II Championships Due to Administration DQs

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Some poor relay-must administration has cost three swimmers their performances at the NCAA Division II Championships.

Lindenwood’s Igor Mijatovic, Nova Southeastern’s Georgina Allin and Drury’s David Wong did not swim on their invited relay events, and the NCAA has gone back and disqualified their swims.

The following times were disqualified following an NCAA Committee meeting today:

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The surprising part is that these teams did not lose their relays to disqualification.  These administration error DQs happened at the NCAA Division I level so often that they changed the qualifying rules. But, each time it did happen, teams like USC and Texas lost their relays to disqualification.

Whenever this type of a violation has typically occurred, it’s led to the corresponding relay that each swimmer was invited to the meet on to be disqualified.

This means that Queens should have a much larger lead over Drury in the men’s race as Wong was brought in on the 800-yard free relay that earned 34 points by way of second-place last night.

Lindenwood should have lost a sixth-place 26 points from the men’s 800-yard free relay as well, while Nova Southeastern should have lost 14 points from 10th place in the women’s 800-yard free relay last night.

According to the NCAA Division II Championship rulebook, these three relays should have been disqualified based on all evidence at hand:

A relay-only swimmer is defined as a swimmer who has qualified for the championships as identified and named on the submission of results as a member of a relay with a qualifying time, but who has not qualified in any individual events. A relay-only swimmer must swim in the relay in which the swimmer achieved the qualifying standard and may then swim in a maximum of four individual events for which the swimmer achieved a “B” time. If a relay-only qualifier participates in the NCAA championships but fails to swim in at least one relay for which he or she qualified for the championships, then that competitor will be disqualified from any optional events in which he or she participated, and the institution will be disqualified from the last relay in which he or she could have swum to meet the optional-entry participation requirement in this manual.

UPDATE: 

NCAA Associate Director of Public and Media Relations Gail Dent sent the following response to Swimming World regarding the waiver of the NCAA rule.

In answer to your question, the Lindenwood, Nova Southeastern and Drury relay teams were granted an exception by the NCAA Division II Swimming Committee due to extenuating circumstances at the championships. Under normal conditions the teams would have been disqualified. The committee has made the decision not to penalize the remaining relay participants.

The NCAA has yet to answer follow up questions regarding the specifics of the extenuating circumstances.  Not many answers will make sense barring a code of conduct rule violation by all three swimmers, for the swimmers to have their times disqualified without impacting the team’s relays.  If a medical disqualification occurred, then their times would not have been disqualified.

While the NCAA has not responded to our follow up regarding the extenuating circumstances, Nova Southeastern head coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron posted the following regarding Georgina Allin’s disqualifications.

Kindly note that in our case, all proactive steps were taken prior to the relay swimming last night. Due to a medical appeal submitted subsequent to our relay performance, the NCAA committee ruled in favor of our relay not being disqualified. The appeal was based on an acute onset illness that forced our swimmer out of competition. She was disqualified from her events, but the relay performance remains intact. I cannot speak for the other relays in question and their fate. Many of our athletes were hit hard by a virus beyond our control and wish circumstances could have prevented the necessary change. There is a provision in the rule book that allows for a medical appeal. The NCAA committee is aware of this article and will be submitting a comment. Best regards, Hollie

If there is a virus going around the meet, similar to the Norovirus issue at the men’s NCAA Division I Championships a few years back, it is a public health issue that should be made known to the rest of the community.  Additionally, a medical disqualification should not lead to times being disqualified.

5 Comments

5 comments

  1. Sarah Grant

    How is that controversy? Sounds like those teams were cheating by having the swimmer get a qualifying time on a relay, then put in a faster swimmer for NCAA relay while swimming the “B” swimmer in individual events hoping to gain points.

    • Swimming World

      Only the individuals have been DQed. The relays have not. That is the controversy.

      Still waiting for the NCAA to respond on why the relays are not DQed.

  2. avatar
    Nicole

    Whether or not the NCAA decides to make it public, there was in fact a virus going around the meet. If you don’t believe it, look at the sheer number of DFS of swimmers who would likely otherwise be in or near scoring position. It was mostly only a 24 hr virus, so some were able to swim again, though usually not too well.

  3. avatar
    Bill

    As the parent of a swimmer at this meet, I can confirm that there was a virus going around which afflicted swimmers and coaches. It affected multiple teams and seemed to be more virulent than average. Given that information, a medical hardship exception would be reasonable to grant. The DQs don’t seem fair in light of this.

    • avatar

      It does seem surprising. In similar situations like this at NCAA D1 meets before they changed their relay qualifying, the swimmer usually is given a medical waiver for the rest of the meet, which waives the relay requirement.

      The only time I’ve seen D1 hit a team with a relay DQ in situations like these are when the team knew a relay-must was sick heading into the meet and just didn’t bring them or inform the NCAA of the roster decision.

      That means the first alternate was left home and should have been at the meet.

      Otherwise, someone getting sick at the meet and not being able to finish their relay-must swim, would be similar to someone slipping and breaking their leg after a few swims and not being able to swim a relay-must. It’s surprising the individual times were lost.

Author: Jason Marsteller

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Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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