Lynch faces ineligibility for 2017 track & field season

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Photo courtesy UVU Athletics

The Western Athletic Conference 10,000-meter champion Jason Lynch has been declared ineligible for the 2017 outdoor track and field season after he ran unattached in two races during the spring of 2010.

Lynch was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis during the 2010 indoor track season and missed the following outdoor track and field season as a result. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the ligament that runs across the bottom of the foot. After months of extensive treatment within the athletic department, Lynch sought the advice of an outside physician so he could reach the level of competition again.

With ART, active release techniques, Lynch saw positive results and was reaching the point where he could compete again. At the specific recommendation of his physician, Lynch ran an 800-meter and 3-kilometer race to find out how his foot would hold up to the different intensity races before he could be cleared to compete. As per recommendation, Lynch consulted the compliance office at UVU before he entered the races to be sure he wasn’t going to violate any NCAA rules.

“I asked my coach,” said Lynch. “I was a freshman, brand new to NCAA regulations and stuff, and I’m pretty sure I asked compliance officers as well, ‘Could I go do these races unattached and not hurt my eligibility?’ So I got from everybody, ‘If you do unattached you should be fine.’”

The NCAA declined comment on the situation or any similar to it.

On April 17, 2010, Lynch ran unattached in the Mark Faldmo Invitational at Utah State in Logan, which was the fourth meet of the season for UVU. Two weeks later, May 1, he ran unattached again in the Eccles Coliseum Spring Collegiate Meet at Southern Utah in Cedar City, the seventh meet of the Wolverines’ eight-meet regular season.

Lynch then took two years away from track and field to serve a service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After he completed his missionary service, Lynch suffered a collapsed lung Nov. 22, 2012 and was unable to compete during the 2012-13 academic year and took the season off as a redshirt.

After he returned to full strength, Lynch competed in the 2014 season as a redshirt sophomore. During that season, Lynch won the WAC title in the 10,000-meter and was named second team All-WAC for the 5,000-meter and 1,500-meter. Lynch again won the 10,000-meter during his redshirt junior and senior seasons in 2015 and 2016.

After completion of three full seasons of competition, the NCAA declared that Lynch has completed his four years of eligibility, citing the two races he ran during in the 2010 season. Having missed the entire 2010 outdoor track and field season, Lynch would have been eligible for a hardship waiver, or a medical redshirt, which would have given him a sixth year of eligibility in addition to the five he’s originally granted with the traditional redshirt season.