Florida’s Trey Freeman to Redshirt NCAA Season After Undergoing Knee Surgery

University of Florida sophomore Trey Freeman underwent knee surgery and is redshirting the current NCAA season, he announced on Instagram Wednesday.

“As championship season approaches, I felt that the time has come for me to share some information with the world. I will not be competing at SEC or NCAA championships and will be redshirting this season,” Freeman wrote. “With the support of my teammates, staff, coaches, and family, this fall I underwent surgery to address a lingering issue in my knee. Making this decision leading up to an Olympic year was not easy by any means, but it was the right thing to do. I will most likely never meet my tissue donor’s family, but for their gift I am infinitely grateful. This experience afforded me an opportunity to step back from the sport of swimming and figure out what I really want from it. With all the help I have received from the tremendous strength, athletic training, rehab, and nutrition staffs at UF, I’m glad to say I’ve slowly begun to return to the pool. But more importantly, I’ve found the same joy for the sport that got me to where I am today. I’m beyond grateful for the people in my life that have helped me through this and for all the support they have shown and continue to show. I’m disappointed I won’t be able to help the team out, but I can’t wait to watch my boys tear it up this spring. God bless. Go Gators.”


Freeman became a two-time All-American in his freshman season, finishing 15th in the 500 and fifth on the Gators’ 4×200 free relay at NCAAs last March; he also finished 34th in the 1650. He swam all lifetime bests individually at the 2019 SEC Championships and finished second in the 500 (4:12.80) and 1650 (14:48.69), and seventh in the 200 (1:34.09).

He did compete in two meets for the Gators this fall, swimming the 500 in a quad meet Sept. 27 and the 200 free and back against Florida Atlantic the next day. Even without Freeman, a national high school record holder, Florida has an elite distance group that features 2017 U.S. Worlds Team and 2018 Pan Pacs team member Bobby Finke as well as Olympian and seven-time All-American Khader Baqlah.

Free placed 11th in the 400 free at U.S. Nationals last summer, then competed at the 2019 World University Games in the 200 free and 400 free, finishing sixth in the former and fourth in the latter.

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2 years ago

Is there a deadline or requirements for a season to count as a red shirt? I would have thought competing in meets this fall wouldn’t allow him to redshirt.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
2 years ago

Technically speaking, redshirts only exist in theory until after you’ve been there 4 years. They’re applied posthumously when you compete during your 5th year of enrollment, so no declaration of “I’m redshirting” has to be made to the NCAA, so there is no deadline.

In Division 1, to receive a medical hardship waiver, an athlete must not have participated in more than 3 contests or 30% of their season schedule (whichever is greater), and not past the halfway point of the season (based on number of contests, not the date that is halfway). Must also be season-ending injury, and it must happen during one of their 4 seasons of college competition or during their senior year of high school.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
2 years ago

Similar to what happened to Grant Shoults, but I’m not sure if in Shoults’ case the red shirt was granted.

Lane 8
2 years ago

Wishing Trey a fast recovery! Stay strong! You definitely made the right decision. Go Gators!

2 years ago

Trey is an amazing individual. Best of luck to the kid. Wishing for a speedy and healthy recovery.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Coach
2 years ago

Gratitude in the midst of a setback shows great character.

2 years ago

Best of luck to Trey. Wishing the best in recovery.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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