by Amanda Egan
The University of La Verne’s swimming and diving team was scheduled to participate in NCAA Division III Nationals next week, but a late entry form disqualified them from making an appearance and has sparked a protest from ULV.
The national meet will be held March 15-17 at Flickinger Aquatic Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
ULV had an exceptional swimmer who had national qualifying times. Freshman Jason Walters qualified in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:53.12 as well as in the 100-yard backstroke with 52.04.
Junior Ryan MacDonald who was thought to have qualified in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 52.82 later learned that he was just four-100ths of a second shy.
“What happened is the head coach, which is me, screwed up,” said head coach John Hallman.
There are two forms that the NCAA must receive for a team to participate in nationals. The Proof of Performance and the Meet Entry Form are required submissions prior to participation taking place.
There was a misunderstanding as to when each form was due. Hallman found the date that one of the forms was due and forwarded it via overnight mail to the NCAA. The form was 10-15 hours late and was not accepted.
After three appeals by ULV, Walters will not be able to attend Nationals.
Hallman said that he is devastated and feels nauseous over the situation.
“It’s bad because the punishment does not fit the crime,” said Hallman. “Jason qualified, but cannot go because of a coach’s mistake.”
ULV was not the only school to be disqualified. UC Santa Cruz also had swimmers disqualified because of a similar paperwork mix-up.