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NCAA rules Nduwimana eligibility exhausted

By Chris Martin
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
June 28, 2000
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

The UA track team received a major blow to the program last Friday.

The NCAA ruled that junior Patrick Nduwimana - the 2000 NCAA 800-meter champion - had exhausted his eligibility.

"It was a big blow to us," UA head coach Dave Murray said. "It's not because he was just a great runner but is such a great person. He was gonna be our team captain."

The NCAA handed down the ruling because Nduwimana had enrolled in Savannah (Ga.) College before taking the SAT tests, therefore making him a partial qualifier.

In being a partial qualifier, Nduwimana's four-year eligibility began at Savannah College even though he didn't compete athletically for the school.

"It hurts quite a bit, more so in the 800 than the 4x400," UA sprint coach Fred Harvey said. "We are just going to try and pick up the pieces."

Nduwimana couldn't be reached for comment as he was in Europe training for the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He will run the 800m for his native Burundi.

"He was really depressed because he wants to run for the University of Arizona," Murray said. "It is a big loss, the people on the team - the ones that have been here - really feel bad for him. He's just one heck of a great, great person."

After the Olympics, Nduwimana will return to the UA in January and train with Harvey while continuing to work on his finance degree.

Though his outdoor career has ended, Nduwimana is still eligible to participate in the upcoming indoor season.

"He's one of the people that helped get the team together and gel," Harvey said. " Burundi is his country, but Arizona is his little country."

Nduwimana ended his outdoor career with the Wildcats as the program's most distinguished distance runner. He set the school record in the 800m, was a three time All-American and owns the fifth fastest 800m time in NCAA history.

Arizona also lost assistant coach Mike Maynard, who left to become the head coach at Boise State.

Maynard had been with the program for 13 years and was the throws coach.

"He has done a tremendous job for us," Murray said. "When you lose someone like that, it's like losing a family member."

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