It's Official: The NCAA Says Its Athletes Can't Be Coached By Their Actual Coach In The Olympics

Unless a Coach Is An Official Governing Body National Coach, The NCAA Has Said They Can't Coach In The Olympics Even if The Athlete and Country Want Them There

By LetsRun.com
July 30, 2012

Last last week, we wrote an article about how the NCAA had reached a new low and was going to ban its collegiate track and field coaches from coaching in the biggest amateur athletic event in the world and biggest track meet in the world - the Olympics:

LRC Beyond Stupidity: The NCAA Says Its Coaches Can't Coach In The Olympics

The NCAA was saying that unless a coach was listed as an official coach by a national governing body that they can't go to London and coach athletes who still have eligibility remaining.

Can you imagine training your whole life to go to the Olympics and then not having your actual coach there to help you - particularly in a technical event like the jumps or throws?

Utterly ridiculous.

For a while it looked like the NCAA, which is currently bragging about its Olympic student athletes on its website (see image to right), might come to its senses and allow coaches to go if they could show they had the approval of a various national governing body, but that hope was misplaced.

It's now official. Unless a coach is listed as an official track and field coach by a governing body, they can't go to the Olympics to coach current student athletes.

Below is the email that LSU Head Coach Dennis Shaver recently received from Bo Bahnsen, LSU's Senior Associate Athletics Director in charge of compliance. Mr. Bahnsen shares what he heard from the NCAA on the matter of allowing the LSU coaches to coach at the Olympics.

      Coach Shaver,

      As of noon today, nothing has changed that would allow us to feel comfortable about sending Coach Elliott or Coach Lane to the Olympics in any type of coaching capacity. Neither coach is a designated National Team Coach for the USA or any other country. They may have been offered limited access credentials from Grenada and Jamaica; however this does not meet the NCAA’s definition of a National Team Coach. In other words, if the two governing bodies of Grenada or Jamaica were paying our two coaches’ expenses to the Olympics as their National Team Coach, then I don’t think we would be having this issue.

      We do feel comfortable sending you to represent LSU and as our Head Coach in an Administrative capacity because of the number of ex LSU athletes that will be competing for their respective countries. 

      Attempting to change this legislation would take a very long time. Asking for emergency relief this late because “everyone does it” is not a good reason.  We are bound by these interpretations until further notice. When you get back I would suggest we get with you and your staff and start working with the Track Coaches Association to address this issue for the future on a national level.

      This decision is final and is based on the two confirmed interpretation’s we have received through the SEC from the NCAA /AMA staff below:

      Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 11:11 AM


      AMA confirmed
      to us as well to the coaches association (college coaches cannot coach student-athletes with eligibility remaining unless they are on the national team coaching staff).

      Sent:
      Monday, July 23, 2012 5:21 PM

      Credentials themselves would not be sufficient – the coaches would have to be designated as one of the national team coaches
      . Steve confirmed that it is not permissible for college coaches to work with their student-athletes at the Olympics unless they have been designated by the NGB as a national team coach.

      LSU – 2012 Olympic Travel
      :
      Dennis Shaver – APPROVED - Administrative Travel
      Mark Elliott – Denied – (Budget or TAF Account) Cancel all reservations
      Todd Lane – Denied – (Budget or TAF Account) Cancel all reservations.

When we originally wrote our first article, we tried for the most part to keep names out of it as in our mind this is an NCAA issue not an LSU issue. LSU is just following the rules.

But we did hear about the whole thing from LSU assistant coach Todd Lane who is hoping to work in London with Jamaican and LSU long jumper Damar Forbes.

If you are as outraged as we are, we hope you direct your anger at the NCAA and not LSU as we certainly don't want Mr. Lane to end up getting in trouble for having the courage to reach out to us on this matter. So if you are mad, we suggest you contact the NCAA. We have reached out to them ourselves but of course they haven't bothered to get back to us.

If you don't want to take the time to politely let them know of your disappointment, at least send a tweet towards the NCAA: @NCAA  #NCAAcoach #London2012

More: MB: Beyond Stupidity: The NCAA Says Its Coaches Can't Coach In The Olympics


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