NCAA Championships delayed by participants’ illness

Columbus, OH - From the University of South Carolina

COLUMBUS, OH – The start of the 2010 NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships has been pushed back 24 hours due to an illness that has spread to 18 student-athletes and one coach, affecting teams from three schools. South Carolina's Michael Flach was not among the ill participants, according to Gamecock head coach McGee Moody.

Coaches were informed of the NCAA's decision late Wednesday night. Moody said the competition pool was open for practice Thursday, however, as officials did not believe the supposed viral infection came from the pool. However, Moody said that Ohio State personnel are taking extra precautions.

"There's about 25 lifeguards running around with Lysol and rags, and they're spraying down literally everything that anyone could possibly touch," Moody said. "But Michael is fine; they're pretty sure that it's limited to just three teams. But they decided to push everything back out of an abundance of caution."

According to a release from the NCAA, 18 student-athletes and one coach have been treated at the Ohio State University Medical Center and the Ohio State Sports Medicine Center for a possible gastrointestinal illness.

Officials were looking into whether the student-athletes were sick when they arrived at the pool and then spread the illness at practice, the Associated Press reported. They were also trying to determine if the three teams were in a common place prior to the outbreak. The NCAA would not release the teams affected.

All events will be pushed back one day with the meet now slated to begin on Friday and end on Sunday. NCAA and Ohio State officials were working on tickets and refunds while teams and coaches worked to secure hotel rooms and rental cars for an extra day.

Flach's NCAA Championship quest will now begin Friday with the 500 freestyle and continue with the 200 freestyle Saturday and 200 butterfly Sunday. Preliminaries are slated for noon all three days with finals to get underway at 7 p.m. Live results will be available through