A representative from South Carolina’s athletics department says the school is confident Brazilian star Brandonn Almeida will be eligible to compete during the spring semester.
Almeida, an Olympian, World Junior champ and former World Junior record-holder, is potentially a massive pickup for the Gamecocks. He verbally committed to South Carolina last fall, and though he’s appeared on the team’s roster all season, he hasn’t yet competed in the NCAA.
A source told SwimSwam earlier this fall that Almeida was still dealing with NCAA paperwork to determine his eligibility and official year in school. The school told us this fall that there was no information about his status, but finally this week said that Almeida and the school are “working through one final process with the NCAA” and that the program is “confident Brandonn will be swimming and competing with us in the Spring semester.”
An eligible Almeida would be a huge boost to South Carolina’s NCAA viability. Based on his long course meters times, Almeida could be a potential NCAA A finalist in the 1650 free and the 400 IM. Of course, long course times don’t always translate perfectly to the short course pool, but Almeida has also spent the fall training with a South Carolina program that has excelled recently with distance freestylers.
South Carolina has already wrapped up its fall semester schedule. The team’s next meet is set for January 13 on the road against East Carolina. There’s no word yet on a timeline for Almeida’s NCAA debut.