Kentucky’s NCAA Qualifier Madison Winstead to Medically Retire

Rising University of Kentucky senior Madison Winstead will no longer compete, she told SwimSwam, and is taking a medical retirement from the sport.

Winstead’s name showed up in the NCAA transfer database in the spring, and when asked about her intentions, she gave the following statement:

“I actually am not looking to transfer anymore, Lexington is home and I will forever love this school and state,” Winstead said. “I will be medically disqualifying.”

Winstead declined further comment about the circumstances of her retirement.

Medical retirements/disqualifications/exemptions are not the same thing as a medical redshirt. Medical retirements generally offer athletes who suffer career-ending injuries an opportunity to still have their education paid for. Athletic directors have the option to pay out a student’s scholarship or offer them financial aid; it is essentially a form of insurance for college athletes. Medically retired athletes do not count towards their former program’s total scholarship limit. Medical retirement also cannot be undone – if the athlete makes an unexpected recovery, they cannot regain NCAA eligibility.

As a freshman, Winstead took second in the 100 breast at the 2017 SEC Championships and took third in 2018 and 12th in 2019. She qualified for NCAAs in 2017, 2018, and 2019; she finished 24th in the 100 breast and 34th in the 200 breast in Austin last March. Her highest career individual NCAA finish was 10th in the 200 breast in 2018.

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2 years ago

I hope she’s OK, and can go pro in Whatever she went to school for. Good on the school for not ditching her money.

Never knew that this was possible.

2 years ago


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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