Courtney Caldwell Announces Medical Disqualification from Swimming

USC sprinter Courtney Caldwell has announced her medical disqualification from the sport.

The NCAA defines this as a disqualification from participation due to an obstructing medical issue. “The team physician has the final responsibility to determine when a student-athlete is removed or withheld from participation due to an injury, an illness, or pregnancy.” Under NCAA rules, ‘clearance for that individual to return to activity is solely the responsibility of the team physician or that physician’s designated representative.’

Caldwell’s full statement, from her Instagram post:

Most of the the time life doesn’t go as planned & LEMME TELL YA THIS DID NOT! As I write this post I look back on all of the amazing experiences swimming provided me with. It is with sadness in my heart that after years of battling injury I announce my medical disqualification.

From the highest highs, to the lowest lows, this sport has taught me exactly who I want to be & how I want to suit up for battle when the going gets tough. I want to say thank you to coaches who have supported me throughout my years as an athlete, to my teammates, my family, & friends. I want to give a special thank you to the Trojan FAMILY—for everything.

Swimming—you had my heart at the young age of 7. Thank you for giving me a chlorine filled space that will forever be my home.

Caldwell, who started her collegiate career at NC State after attending high school in Kansas, raced for the Wolfpack for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. As a freshman, she touched sixth in the 100 back, tenth in the 100 free, and 18th in the 50 free at the 2016 ACC Championships and competed at the 2016 NCAA Championships in the 100 back.

She developed into a very powerful sprinter as a sophomore with NC State, touching second in the 100 free, third in the 50 free, and fourth in the 100 back at ACCs. She would go on to score in the 100 free B final at the 2017 NCAA Champs, and swam on the finals relays of all three free relays at NCAAs.

That following summer, Caldwell had a great long course season, culminating in a fourth-place finish in the 50 back at the 2017 U.S. Nationals (28.16). At that meet, she also added a ninth-place finish in the 100 free (54.80) and a 12th-place finish in the 50 free (25.35).

Caldwell missed the 2017-18 NCAA season due to injury, then announced her decision to transfer to USC after that season sitting out. During the 2018-19 season with USC, Caldwell only swam at the Texas Invite in November of 2018. There, she raced the 50 free (23.18) and 100 back (54.28).

View this post on Instagram

Most of the the time life doesn’t go as planned & LEMME TELL YA THIS DID NOT! As I write this post I look back on all of the amazing experiences swimming provided me with. It is with sadness in my heart that after years of battling injury I announce my medical disqualification. From the highest highs, to the lowest lows, this sport has taught me exactly who I want to be & how I want to suit up for battle when the going gets tough. I want to say thank you to coaches who have supported me throughout my years as an athlete, to my teammates, my family, & friends. I want to give a special thank you to the Trojan FAMILY—for everything. Swimming—you had my heart at the young age of 7. Thank you for giving me a chlorine filled space that will forever be my home.

A post shared by Courtney Caldwell (@themermaidcourt) on

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Nswim

Sad to hear, as always. Best wishes in your future endeavors!

Anyone know specifically why she was disqualified?

CraigH

I believe it’s usually called a “Medical Retirement,” not a Disqualification. Essentially it just means that she gets to keep what ever scholarship she was on without it counting towards the team’s limit.

ACC fan

Shoulder surgery which she never really recovered from

alum15

Probably too much power work in Raleigh. Creates some fast, fast swimming, but also risky on the body

AquaTiger

Specifically: “NCAA Bylaw 15.5.1.3.1 – Incapacitating Injury or Illness. If an incapacitating injury or illness occurs prior to a prospective student-athlete’s or a student-athlete’s participation in athletically related activities and results in the student-athlete’s inability to compete ever again, the student-athlete shall not be counted within the institution’s maximum financial aid award limitations for the current, as well as later academic years. However, if the incapacitating injury or illness occurs on or after the student athlete’s participation in countable athletically related activities in the sport, the student-athlete shall be counted in the institution’s maximum financial aid limitations for the current academic year but need not be counted in later academic years.” It looks like it is officially called a medical… Read more »

Coach Mike 1952

All the best to you Courtney!

Snarky

Why did she leave NCST? She was clearly improving there.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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