Amanda Kendall, the 2009 All-Met Swimmer of the Year and the area’s top Olympic swimming hopeful, has been dismissed from the Louisiana State swim team for violating team rules.
The dismissal came March 28; the school announced the move April 1.
“Our program and university has standards in place for our student athletes to take advantage of in order to have success in the classroom, pool and society,” said LSU head coach Dave Geyer. “It is disappointing when an athlete chooses to not uphold those required standards.”
Kendall, reached by phone Thursday, declined to comment specifically on the rules violation.
A former Robinson high standout, Kendall had a breakout performance last summer at the Pan American games where she earned four gold medals, including an individual win in the 100-meter freestyle. That win put her on the short list to earn one of the six spots on Team USA’s 4×100 freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympics in London this summer.
Kendall, a junior, was expected to contend for medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle at the NCAA women’s championship earlier this month, but a non-swimming injury to her left hand, suffered two week prior to the meet, prevented her from competing.
The injury required surgery, and between missed practice time and her recent departure from LSU, she faces a difficult path – without her college coach and training facilities — to be among the top six at Olympic Trials this summer. The trials run June 25 to July 2 in Omaha, Neb.
Kendall is currently ranked 10th in the country in the 100 freestyle, less than half a second out of sixth.
Kendall has withdrawn from classes at LSU and returned to Fairfax, where she will spend the next three months training with George Mason University Coach Peter Ward, her former club coach.
“I really don’t have any plans right now,” said Kendall. “I’m just trying figure out what’s next.”
Southeastern Conference rules bar Kendall from transferring to another school within the conference. The SEC requires two remaining years of eligibility in order to transfer to another SEC program.
LSU’s compliance department has applied for an Olympic-year waiver for Kendall that would allow her to retain her final year of eligibility without establishing a year of residency first. George Mason seems a plausible destination, where she could train with her former coach, in her hometown.
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