The new status allows schools to use triathlon to meet minimum sports sponsorship requirements, minimum financial aid award requirements and gender equity standards. As an official sport, triathlon can be used for varsity competitions and create opportunities to generate revenue and build community relations.
For student-athletes, the status will create new opportunities in the Olympic pipeline. Triathlon will be added as a fall sport and athletic departments will be able to form teams and compete at the varsity level beginning in August 2014. Nearly 200 schools currently have club triathlon programs and USA Triathlon has held Collegiate National Championships since 1992.
“Today is a watershed moment for the sport,” said Rob Urbach, USA Triathlon CEO. “After four years of hard work behind the scenes, this announcement represents a huge victory for current and future student-athletes, for the NCAA member institutions that will operate varsity triathlon programs, and for USA Triathlon’s future Olympic success.”
On January 16th, the Division I Legislative Council voted 95% in favor of granting triathlon the status. Then on January 18, the Division II and Division III schools voted in favor for their schools with 96% and 93% respectively.
Click here to read the USA Triathlon press release.