Star international recruit Brandonn Almeida has been cleared by the NCAA to compete this season, according to Brazil’s Globo.com, and could make his debut as early as this weekend’s dual with Georgia Tech.
Almeida, a former world junior record holder and World Junior champ, moved to the United States this season to attend school at the University of South Carolina and compete for the Gamecocks. He’s been ineligible to compete so far this season due to a snag in NCAA eligibility paperwork, sources told us, but the school said last month that it was “confident” Almeida would be competing by the second semester.
Now Globo.com reports that the NCAA paperwork has cleared, leaving Almeida eligible to start competition for South Carolina. You can read more on that story here, in its original Portuguese. South Carolina’s next meet is scheduled for this Saturday afternoon at home against Georgia Tech. The Globo.com piece seems to suggest that South Carolina plans to have Almeida debut at the Virginia Tech Invite, which doesn’t start for another two weeks, even though the team has two meets between now and then (Saturday vs Georgia Tech and the SC College Invite on January 26 and 27). The school hasn’t yet responded to our inquiry about when Almeida would begin competing given the Globo report.
Almeida figures to be a huge boost to South Carolina, with strong NCAA scoring chances in the 400 IM and 1650 free, provided his long course times translate well to the short course pool.