Simply over a month after he helped information the Cardinal to an eighth place end on the 2023 NCAA Division I Males’s Swimming & Diving Championships, redshirt sophomore and 2022 NCAA Champion Andrei Minakov has entered the NCAA switch portal.
As first reported by swimming publication SwimSwam, Minakov — a Tokyo 2020 Olympian and the Cardinal’s sole particular person medallist within the final two seasons — entered the portal on Tuesday listed as “Do Not Contact.” This specification implies that potential suitor applications and coaches are prohibited from contacting Minakov immediately, and solely the swimmer himself can provoke contact with a doable switch vacation spot. Minakov shared the information on his Instagram story, however has but to remark additional on his resolution.
Hypothesis over the place Minakov may land has soared by way of the swimming neighborhood because the information broke earlier at this time, with SwimSwam describing the Russian Olympian as “the largest identify to enter the NCAA Switch Portal to date this offseason.” In spite of everything, with an NCAA title within the 100-yard butterfly and a bronze medal within the 100-yard freestyle final 12 months and two extra seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining, Minakov might be a considerable asset to any variety of groups hoping to contend for a nationwide title.
Ought to Minakov select to depart The Farm, it might additionally current a big blow to the squad of head coach Dan Schemmel, who couldn’t be reached for touch upon Wednesday. The holder of a number of Stanford information, Minakov was utilized on every of the Cardinal’s 5 relays at this 12 months’s nationwide championship meet, and his fourth place end within the 100-yard butterfly was the closest the staff got here to a person NCAA medal this season.
Merely getting into the switch portal doesn’t assure an athlete’s departure from their present program. Simply final summer time, for instance, Cal’s Isabelle Stadden selected to remain within the Bay regardless of having beforehand entered the portal to “discover [her] choices.” There thus stays an opportunity the Cardinal may retain one in every of its star swimmers in Minakov — however that prospect continues to be an “if,” with the Olympian now the grasp of his personal future.