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 to weigh in on Regan Smith‘s pro-vs-NCAA decision:
Question: Should Regan Smith turn pro instead of swimming NCAA?
- Yes – 61.4%
- No – 38.6%
61.4% of voters said Regan Smith should turn professional now, giving up her NCAA eligibility after breaking two world records over the summer.
The 17-year-old Smith was the breakout star of Team USA this summer, smashing world records in the 200 and 100 backstrokes at the World Championships. Smith has been the #1-ranked NCAA recruit in her high school class, but her father also recently spoke to the San Jose Mercury News, saying Regan Smith is frustrated that NCAA rules prohibit her from receiving world record bonuses.
The NCAA is still very entrenched in the idea of amateurism, even as more and more critics of that system arise. That’s caused tough calls for many swimmers, especially on the women’s side, where teenage sensations are the norm of the sport. Smith is verbally committed to Stanford for the fall of 2020. Fellow Stanford swimmers Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel both turned pro before their collegiate eligiblity was used up, following the path of Missy Franklin, who swam just two years at Cal before turning pro. Meanwhile the former holder of Smith’s 100 back world record, Katheen Baker, also turned pro early after breaking a world record as a college junior.
Almost two-thirds of voters said Smith should skip college swimming entirely, while about 38% said she should compete in the NCAA.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters which non-Smith backstroker has the best chance of making the 2020 U.S. Olympic team in the 100 back:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner