Vincentian athlete and Carifta silver medallist, Delohnni Nicol-Samuel, the son of Dane Samuel and nephew of Bigna Samuel, will not be wearing Vincentian colours at this year’s Carifta Games. Selected by Team Athletics SVG in a quest for gold at what would be his final year of eligibility for Carifta, Delhonni has been refused permission to compete by his school, Campbell University, where he is a fist year student.
On 20 March, the school was approached for the release of Delhonni and received a negative response. Since then there has been constant communication with the coach of the institution but to no avail.
The coach quoted from the NCAA Rules indicating that to release him would be illegal. He insisted on this even after the President of TASVG pointed to the number of athletes on scholarships in the US who are made available to their respective countries for the Carifta Games. On 25 March he wrote in response:
NCAA rules are very clear on outside competition.
The rule states “A student athlete in any sport other than Basketball who participates during the academic year as a member of any outside team in any non-collegiate, amateur competition becomes ineligible for intercollegiate competition unless eligibility is restored by the Committee on Student Athlete Reinstatement”
The only exceptions to this rule are the Olympic Games, Official World Championships, World University Games, and World Cup Competitions.
If there have been NCAA Division One athletes compete in the Carifta Games in the past, then they have competed outside the rules of the NCAA and should have been deemed ineligible to compete for there college upon return.
We must comply with NCAA rules. Therefore, Delhonni cannot compete in the Carifta games.
Jim Patchell, Ph.D.
Head Track and Field Coach
Completely frustrated, on 29 March 2010, the President of TASVG wrote a final letter to the coach asking for the release of Mr Nicol-Samuel thus:
Dear Coach Patchell, I took the opportunity to read some of the regulations as per the site: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/30475245/Outside-Competition
On the top of the 2nd page of the PDF file, it clearly states that representing a National team is an exception.
Is this not applicable to our request for Mr Nicol-Samuel to represent St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Carifta Games?
I believe that it is this interpretation of the regulations that has for many years allowed athletes of Caribbean parentage to represent their countries at these Games.
While I understand your concerns relative to adherence to the NCAA Rules it seems difficult to believe that each year there would be so many schools making athletes available for this competition knowing that they would be flouting the NCAA Rules.
Coach, I am here requesting again consideration of our request for the release of Mr Nicol-Samuel. These Games are important to us, the country he represents, and himself.
St Vincent and the Grenadines has selected him to represent us at these Games as we have done over the past three years. He is Vincentian. This is his last opportunity to do so.
We crave your understanding and appreciate your cooperation.
To date there has been no response.
This is the second time that TASVG has encountered such a response. The first was in 2005 when Kineke Alexander who was at Iowa, was also denied the right to travel to compete in Carifta in her final year at the event and when a candidate for the gold medal.
Joseph insists that this is grossly unfair since once more we will witness scores of athletes attending US Colleges in attendance in Cayman and who have not flouted the NCAA Regulations