Texas Seniors Maxime Rooney, Jack Collins Pen Letter to NCAA About Eligibility

University of Texas senior swimmers Maxime Rooney and Jack Collins have asked NCAA president Mark Emmert to consider giving an additional year of eligibility to senior athletes affected by the cancelation of national championships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter titled “A Voice for Senior Athletes” published to Instagram Tuesday, the duo thanked Emmert for taking action to protect student-athletes’ health, but acknowledged the “abrupt end to athletic careers” the decision caused.

The letter included quotes from senior athletes “across the United States” including Tennesse’s Stanzi Moseley, Virginia’s Ted Schubert, Michigan’s Felix Auboeck and NC State’s Coleman Stewart, among other swimmers.

View the letter in full below.


Rooney and Collins both transferred to Texas. The former swam the first three years of his collegiate career at the University of Florida and did not have to redshirt before his senior season with the Longhorns, while the latter swam two years at Indiana, then redshirted a year before swimming two seasons at Texas.

Last Saturday, Rooney published a blog post discussing his immediate reaction to the news the championship meet could be canceled and his takeaways from the season. View that in full here.

The NCAA has already granted an additional year of eligibility to athletes who compete in spring sports in Division I and III. As of last week, the organization was reportedly “unlikely” to do the same for winter sport athletes.

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Thinking Cap
9 months ago

Wishing them the best of luck, at this point I don’t see it happening. However, that being said, the last month has certainly proved to me that anything is possible.

Best of luck

9 months ago

move on….

Reply to  gator
9 months ago

I mean I’d be pretty upset to work that hard and have no way to show it while other athletes get another opportunity. For a lot of seniors ncaas may have been there last meet and to not get to swim it would be heartbreaking

Reply to  Jimbo
9 months ago

100% agree, but its going to be impossible to hit rewind on some of these things. These kids all have amazing futures ahead of them, and I’m excited to see what they can do in their post-collegiate days in and out of the pool!

Speed Racer
Reply to  Jimbo
9 months ago

I am sure the seniors were celebrated during their respect team Senior Days. As a winter sport they competed the entire season and conference championship. While I understand the NCAA Championships is the pinnacle it is in the eyes of the NCAA just one meet. The best thing for the NCAA to do right now is not drag out a decision. Let the seniors at least have time to prepare for life as a pro and hopefully get picked up by the ISL.

Reply to  Jimbo
9 months ago

It was their last ever meet, but not for many it will have been: (1) their only taper meet this year; and (2) their final swim meet.

If you’re so elite you can train right through conference there’s a pretty good chance you’re ISL caliber.

There’s some unusual exceptions (all Texas men for example) but not many.

It still sucks for them, but there’s not many in the same position as Rooney.

Reply to  gator
9 months ago

Oh those poor .01% of college swimmers who are able to compete in the NCAA championships, who can also go ISL as soon as the pools open. Please. Give 5 years of eligibility to ALL college athletes coronavirus or not. Almost every single athlete has at least one year of injuries, illness, parent death, knee being shot and must miss part or nearly all of a season without being able to redshirt. Make a BIG difference, not a tiny one – 5 years eligibility for ALL college athletes forever!

Rolling eyes
9 months ago

As the great Kourtney Kardashian said “Maxime, there are people that are dying”

Reply to  Rolling eyes
9 months ago

I was already looking for the GIF of that quote

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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