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 packages and coaches are prohibited from contacting Minakov instantly, and solely the swimmer himself can provoke contact with a potential switch vacation spot. Minakov shared the information on his Instagram story, however has but to remark additional on his determination.
Hypothesis over the place Minakov might land has soared via the swimming neighborhood for the reason that information broke earlier at this time, with SwimSwam describing the Russian Olympian as “the most important title to enter the NCAA Switch Portal thus far this offseason.” In any case, with an NCAA title within the 100-yard butterfly and a bronze medal within the 100-yard freestyle final yr 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 go away The Farm, it might additionally current a major 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 yr’s nationwide championship meet, and his fourth place end within the 100-yard butterfly was the closest the crew got here to a person NCAA medal this season.
Merely coming into the switch portal doesn’t assure an athlete’s departure from their present program. Simply final summer season, 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 might retain one in all its star swimmers in Minakov — however that prospect continues to be an “if,” with the Olympian now the grasp of his personal future.