The pathway project was commissioned by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee Collegiate Advisory Council, which is comprised of nine  athletics directors and one commissioner from the autonomy conferences, to identify and remove impediments faced by elite student-athletes who are personally developing, training and competing both collegiately and internationally. 

The council believes Olympic and Paralympic sports on campus thrive when national team student-athletes can pursue both their academic and athletic dreams. 

NCAA Legislative Reforms: 
More than 300 national team athletes, coaches and National Governing Body administrators identified key impediments, and the USOPC worked with compliance leaders to develop NCAA legislative remedies. The legislation was drafted collectively by the USOPC Legislative Task Force (named in the “resources” section) and the NCAA and supported by the USOPC Collegiate Advisory Council, in order to help national team student-athletes who are often trying to self-manage conflicts related to scheduling, training and finances. These issues are further complicated by policies and practices that do not address international sport structures, quadrennial calendars, Olympic and Paralympic qualification requirements, and elevated financial demands.

Unanimously approved by the NCAA Division I Council and Board of Directors on January 23, 2020, the legislation was designed to clearly identify NCAA elite student-athletes and extend flexibility allowing these elite athletes to reach their potential, which helps the student-athlete, collegiate programs and ultimately the sport. This legislation does not compromise the integrity of existing academic policies and precludes missing class for additional training. The legislation is nimble to allow student-athletes to customize their training, provide easier access to elite developmental resources, and encourage collaboration across the USOPC, schools and national teams.

Individuals designated by the USOPC and the sport-affiliated NGB (or the international equivalent, if a non-U.S citizen) as an elite athlete may utilize the following legislation:

Compliance officers wishing to help an international student-athlete determine if they may be eligible for these reforms can access the international evaluation form in the resources section below.  

The USOPC and NGBs collaborate annually to identify and designate NCAA elite student-athletes. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the USOPC has currently identified 414 current NCAA elite student-athletes, representing 92 different institutions. The USOPC anticipates this number may be larger in non-Games years, as rosters tend to be more focused/smaller during a Games-year.

Below is a table outlining the number of NCAA elite student-athletes, number of institutions impacted, and the NCAA elite roster threshold for each college-centric sport. NGBs will have an opportunity to add student-athletes to their NCAA elite list in January 2023 for those athletes that met the NCAA elite roster threshold during the fall.  

Sport NCAA Elite Athletes Schools
Impacted
2022-23 NCAA Elite Roster Threshold
Basketball (5x5) 1 1 2022 World Cup training roster
Basketball (3x3) 0 0 Top-25 U.S. ranked athletes in FIBA individual ranking system
Biathlon
1 1 U.S. national A, B and X team rosters
Diving
55 24 High performance squad roster - tier 1, 2 and 3 (senior)
Equestrian
0 0 U.S. sr. national team roster
Fencing 18 5 Athletes with a U.S. ranking of No. 8 or better 
Field Hockey
18 9 U.S. women’s outdoor sr. national team roster
Gymnastics
21 9 U.S. men's and women's senior national artistic gymnastics team and men's senior development team
Ice Hockey
10 6 U.S. IIHF World Championship sr. national team roster
Modern Pentathlon 1 1 U.S. world cup team roster (top-6 ranked men and women)
Paralympic Sports
11 11 U.S. Paralympic sr. national team (track & field, swimming)
Rowing
1 1 U.S. senior national team roster
Rugby 8 4 U.S. rugby sevens and rugby 15s player pool
Shooting 17 9 U.S. national team and development national team rosters
Ski/Snowboard 9 3 U.S. national alpine team roster, U.S. national cross-country team roster and athletes who have earned a fixed FIS World Cup position 
Soccer 0 0 U.S. men's and women's sr. national team rosters
Softball 19 13 2022 U.S. sr. national team roster at elite international competitions
Swimming 70 20 2022 sr. national team members and/or athletes that represented Team USA in elite-caliber international competition (pool & open-water)
Tennis 0 0 Elite athletes are defined in USTA Bylaw 26, include but are not limited to, having a top 50 US Professional Men’s and Women’s Singles & Doubles ranking and specified event participation.
Track & Field
63 30 USATF Tier or TPP qualified athletes for 2023, athletes qualified for 2022 World Athletics Outdoor Championships and/or athletes that achieved the World Athletics Outdoor Championships standard during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 seasons
Triathlon
1 1 NGB recognized status (sr. national teams A, B, C or Project X) or qualify for elite triathlon incentive plan
Volleyball (indoor & beach)
48 21 U.S. women's/men's/beach national team development program rosters
Water Polo 33 9 U.S. men’s and women’s sr. national team training roster
Wrestling 9 7 U.S. sr. national team roster
Total 414 total
NCAA elites
92 unique schools
 
  • NCAA FAQ (download here)
    • The most up-to-date version of the NCAA FAQ for the legislation that was unanimously approved on January 23, 2020.  This document will be updated as new iterations are released by the NCAA.
  • International student-athlete evaluation  (download here)
    • Compliance administrators who utilize the process and worksheet but are not able to fully validate an international student-athlete’s NCAA elite status may inquire with the USOPC via online form to request a review. The USOPC has access to world-level event results and can help provide feedback on sport- or country-specific nuances.  Submission of verification materials to the USOPC is NOT required – schools and conferences are the authority in verifying NCAA elite status for international student-athletes.  Conference liaisons are listed on the attached resource document.
  • Campus advocacy overview (download here)
    • To better support the elite student-athletes participating on Team USA, the USOPC has invited each impacted institution and conference to participate in a collegiate advocacy program, which is intended to strengthen communication and collaboration between collegiate and national team leaders. These leaders liaise with the USOPC and NGB to help national team student-athletes navigate both their collegiate and national team responsibilities.
  • USOPC student-athlete support tool (download here)
    • USOPC liaisons are expected to communicate with the USOPC/NGB to help national team student-athletes navigate both their collegiate and national team responsibilities. One critical task is convening annually with your national team student-athlete(s) to review goals, discuss their support plan and review schedules. This worksheet can be utilized to help facilitate the conversation and memorialize the discussion
  • Resource management worksheet (download here)
    • USOPC liaisons are expected to work with your NCAA elite student-athletes to outline elite training needs/resources and allocation strategies. This worksheet is designed to establish a plan for NCAA elite student-athletes to utilize USOPC/NGB funding while maintaining NCAA eligibility for expenses classified as elite training expenses.

Below are key contacts from each sport-specific U.S. National Governing Body with current student-athletes competing for their respective national team. These individuals are tremendous resources for questions regarding their national team or sport as a whole.

SPORT NAME TITLE EMAIL
Artistic Swimming Monica Velazquez-Stiak Athlete Safety & Membership Manager Monica@usaartisticswim.org
Baseball Eric Campbell General Manager, National Teams ericcampbell@usabaseball.com
Basketball Jay Demings (3x3) Director, Youth & Sport Development jdemings@usabasketball.com
Basketball Briana Weiss (women's) Women's National Team Director bweiss@usab.com
Basketball Sean Ford (men's) Men's National Team Director sford@usabasketball.com
Biathlon Tim Burke Director of Athlete Development tburke@usbiathlon.org
Bobsled Morgan Tracey Director of High Performance morgan.tracey@usabs.com
Cycling Jim Miller Chief of Sport Performance jmiller@usacycling.org
Diving Leslie Hasselbach Adams High Performance Manager & Education Coordinator leslie.adams@usadiving.org
Equestrian Terri Dolan Director of National Breeds and Non-FEI Disciplines Sport Department tdolan@usef.org
Fencing Kate Reisinger Director of Sport Performance K.Reisinger@usfencing.org
Field Hockey Krista Page Women’s National Team manager kpage@usafieldhockey.com
Figure Skating Chloe Roberts Manager, School and Alumni Programs croberts@usfigureskating.org
Golf Andy Levinson Executive Director, USA Golf AndyLevinson@pgatourhq.com
Gymnastics Mary McDaniel Director of Program Development and Olympic Relations mmcdaniel@usagym.org
Gymnastics Jason Woodnick Vice President of Men’s Program jwoodnick@usagym.org
Ice Hockey Katie Million Director, Women’s National Team Programs Katie.Million@usahockey.org
Ice Hockey Casey Jorgensen General Counsel cjorgensen@usahockey.org
Judo Alex Bates High Performance Coordinator Alex.Bates@usajudo.us
Paralympics Calli Doggett Manager, Paralympic Sport Development Calli.Doggett@usopc.org
Rowing Will Daly Assoc. Director, National Team Operations will.daly@usrowing.org
Rugby Emilie Bydwell General Manager, Women's High Performance ebydwell@usarugby.org
Rugby Jonathan Atkieson Scholastic Manager jatkeison@usa.rugby
Sailing Kate Drummey Olympic Coordinator katedrummey@ussailing.org
Shooting Alex Szablewski Sr. Manager, High Performance alex.szablewski@usashooting.org
Ski & Snowboard Bryan Fish (nordic) Cross Country Sport Development Manager bryan.fish@usskiandsnowboard.org
Ski & Snowboard Chip Knight (alpine) Alpine Development Director chip.knight@usskiandsnowboard.org
Soccer Kate Markgraf (women's) Women's National Team General Manager kmarkgraf@ussoccer.org
Soccer Brian McBride (men's) General Manager, Men's National Team bmcbride@ussoccer.org
Softball Chris Sebren Director, National Teams csebren@usasoftball.com
Swimming Stacy Michael-Miller National Team Support and Services Director smichael@usaswimming.org
Table Tennis Sean O'Neill High Performance Director Sean.ONeill@usatt.org
Tennis Megan Rose Managing Director - Major Events megan.rose@usta.com
Track & Field Michael Nussa Manager, High Performance Programs Michael.Nussa@usatf.org
Triathlon Alec Hewett Operations Sr. Manager alec.hewett@usatriathlon.org
Volleyball Erin Virtue (women's) Assistant, WNT / Director, NTDP erin.virtue@usav.org
Volleyball Matt Fuerbringer (men's) Assistant Coach, MNT matt.fuerbringer@usav.org
Volleyball Sean Scott (beach) Director, Beach National Programs sean.scott@usav.org
Water Polo John Abdou Chief High Performance Officer jabdou@usawaterpolo.org
Wrestling Cody Bickley National Teams High Performance Manager cbickley@usawrestling.org

The USOPC Legislative Task Force, comprised of leading collegiate administrators, assisted in the development of the new NCAA Division I legislation and provided interpretive insight around the creation of key resources to assist in the nationwide implementation process.

Name Title Institution Email
Lisa Peterson Deputy Athletic Director/SWA/Deputy Title IX Coordinator University of Oregon lpete@uoregon.edu
Missy Conboy Senior Deputy Athletics Director (Sport Operations/ACC Liaison) University of Notre Dame mconboy@nd.edu
Julie Manning Executive Associate Athletics Director/SWA University of Minnesota jmanning@umn.edu
Chris Plonsky Chief of Staff / Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director University of Texas cp@utexas.edu
Miriam Segar Sr. Associate AD / Sr. Woman Administrator Louisiana State University msegar@lsu.edu
Marielle vanGelder Associate A.D./NCAA Compliance/Senior Woman Administrator University of North Carolina mvangelder@unc.edu
Matt Boyer Assistant Commissioner/Compliance Southeastern Conference mboyer@sec.org
Ellen Ferris Associate Commissioner (Governance and Compliance) American Athletic Conference eferris@theamerican.org
David Flores Associate Commissioner - Compliance & Governance Big 12 Conference david@big12sports.com
Teresa Gould Senior Associate Commissioner, Sports Management & Institutional Services Pac-12 Conference tgould@pac-12.org
Chris Merino Assistant Commissioner, Compliance Pac-12 Conference cmerino@pac-12.org
Chad Hawley Associate Commissioner, Policy Big Ten Conference CHawley@bigten.org
Brad Hostetter Chief of Internal Affairs Atlantic Coast Conference bhostetter@theacc.org

The USOPC collegiate partnerships department aims to help strengthen collegiate contributions to Team USA and support the close relationship between the American collegiate athletics space and the Olympic and Paralympic movements. For questions, please contact the following team members:

  • Sarah Wilhelmi, sr. director of collegiate partnerships, sarah.wilhelmi@usopc.org
  • Adam Wood, associate director of collegiate partnerships, adam.wood@usopc.org