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Verifiable performance rule rescinded

Track and field rules committee to gather feedback to craft new proposal

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Rules Committee on Thursday rescinded an impending rule change regarding verifiable performances.

The committee, which met for three days in Indianapolis, will seek feedback from the membership regarding the best ways to use verifiable performances for entry into NCAA indoor and outdoor track competition in the years to come.

Committee members plan to make necessary revisions and address the concerns raised by membership. The committee plans to have a new rule recommendation by June 2018.

The committee previously had recommended that all meet entries use verifiable performances from the current season, which would be published online by meet directors in the ranked list of event entries. Verified performances would come from the NCAA verifiable reporting system.

The rule, which would have been effective Dec. 1, was put in place to disallow speculative marks. It also sought to provide guidance to the membership regarding reporting and publishing entries for a competition and for consideration of qualifying for an NCAA championship meet.

However, feedback from the track and field community raised questions about what to do with incoming freshmen, redshirt freshmen and transfers who lack verifiable performances. Originally, it was decided that student-athletes in any of these categories would be entered with a “no mark” performance until a verifiable current season performance was established.

“That meant teams would enter no times for a very large number of athletes,” said Dan Rose, rules committee chair and Coast Guard’s senior associate athletics director. “Seeding flexibility was a big part of the conversation, as well. Some coaches are concerned that their athletes may not be fit enough to compete at their previous best mark. We want to look at adding a provision where you can downgrade the mark in those cases.”

One possible solution for transfer student-athletes would be to permit them to carry a verified mark that stays with them until they exhaust athletics eligibility.

“The most important thing is we have a year to vet this and get feedback,” Rose said. “We will have a fully formed proposal by next June that should meet everyone’s needs.”