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@James Lange triathlon only exists in NCAA for a relatively small number of women’s programs. Otherwise, it’s a club sport for all men and the vast majority of women’s teams as well. Some schools, Liberty being one of them, do actually manage their club teams very similar to a traditional varsity sport, but without the NCAA status or restrictions (recruiting contact, practice time restrictions, involvement of outside entities)@idking90 is correct. As one of those athletes that has a "pro" card while being an NCAA athlete. Also we can not get sponsored. Its like being at a strip club, we can look all we want, pay for lap dances BUT we are not allowed to touch.
However, USAT does have a special “elite collegiate” designator that (I believe) has the same qualification criteria as an ordinary elite license (proper terminology for a “pro card”). This license allows you to enter elite fields (that being, ITU races and any other race with a prize purse >$5,000) except you can’t win prize money. I know a handful of college swimmers and runners (and presumably all the ladies with elite licenses in the NCAA programs) who had or have that license to be able to race where they want to and belong, but don’t want to jeopardize NCAA status.
Part of the question of why you turn pro......hitting on the Wattie Ink wanna be pro moms has now become easier with the "Im a pro" pick up line
"What is the single most valuable benefit you derive from turning pro during the initial inevitable lean years? Is it just the net race fee reduction, or is there something else? Or is the pro identity more enticing initially?"
#Sworry in advance if that's too juvenile