SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers
Question: What should Dean Farris do for the 2020-2021 NCAA season?
- Try to obtain another Olympic redshirt year and return to Harvard in 2021-2022 – 38.8%
- Return to Harvard for his senior season – 35.2%
- Turn pro and keep focusing on the Tokyo Olympics – 26.0%
It was a relatively close poll result, with 38% of voters saying Dean Farris should take another year to focus on the Olympics, but return to Harvard for the 2021-2022 NCAA season if possible.
There’s no guarantee Farris will have that option. He sat out this past college season to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, and the NCAA typically forces athletes to complete four years of collegiate competitive eligibility within a five-year window. But there are waivers to that rule, and it’s possible Farris could obtain one to compete in 2021-2022. (For example, Cierra Runge swam one season at Cal, sat out a year to prep for the Olympics, then swam one year at Wisconsin, then transferred with a second gap year before wrapping up her career with Arizona State – that was four seasons of competition over a six-year span).
Farris took his gap year to train at Texas, a powerhouse for 100/200 free types and viewed by many as an ideal training location for Farris, who will fight for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in both of those races. The pull is between Texas, an elite Olympic training ground, and Harvard, one of the most prestigious academic environments.
35.3% said Farris should return to Harvard next season. That would put a priority on academics, graduating relatively on-time and perhaps moving towards whatever professional field Farris is eying.
26% said Farris should immediately turn pro. That would allow him to continue training at Texas (perhaps wrapping up his degree at a different school in the meantime, or returning to Harvard down the road), and could also give him some level of income through the upstart ISL series, the Pro Swim Series or FINA’s World Cup tour. Of course, all of those programs are on hold at this point, as the global coronavirus pandemic has stalled most major sports.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters if they’d rather win an Olympic gold medal or break a world record:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner