Spartans freshman men’s swimmer sues the NCAA

CHICAGO (AP) — Learning disabled swimmer Chad Ganden sued the NCAA on Thursday, claiming it violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by refusing to let him compete for Michigan State this year.
Ganden, 18, won two straight state 100-yard freestyle championships while at Naperville North High School.
He has a normal IQ but also a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to translate letters or series of letters into spoken words.
The NCAA said last year he was not academically qualified for an athletic scholarship, but in August it gave him its first-ever partial certification.
That allowed Ganden to receive a full scholarship at Michigan State. But while he can practice with the Spartans, he is not allowed to participate in intercollegiate competition in his freshman season.
“Partial eligibility is an unfair resolution for a young man who has worked hard in school and in the swimming pool,” said Jerry Vainisi, one of Ganden’s lawyers. “While we have tried very hard to resolve this matter outside of the courtroom, from this point on, we have no choice but to continue Chad’s struggle in court.”
The first hearing in the case was scheduled for today.
“It’s unfortunate, because clearly it’s the Gandens’ right to sue, and I can understand their concern for their son,” NCAA spokeswoman Kathryn M. Reith said. “But the NCAA has to uphold its academic code, and we feel we’ve made appropriate accommodations for Chad.”