Jumper Scott says switch from UVA to USC the right move

Sport

Jumper Scott says switch from UVA to USC the right move

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 08, 2020

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Citing the need to be around people who share his vision to compete at the highest level, Jamaican national triple jump champion Jordan Scott made a surprise transfer from the University of Virginia (UVA) to the University to Southern California (USC), one of the biggest college sports programmes in the United States.

Word of the move broke last week, but was only confirmed on Tuesday when the USC Trojans made the announcement on their social media platforms. Scott confirmed to the Jamaica Observer later that he made the decision in consideration for his long-term future in the sport.

Scott, the former Campion College student, appeared to have had a change of heart about staying at UVA after he had indicated earlier in their year that he would take up his 'fifth' option at the school where he had established himself as one of the best triple jumpers in the US college ranks winning the NCAA Division 1 indoors title under Coach Mario Wilson in 2019. He was also ranked number one going into this year's event before the season was called off.

Like all college seniors, Scott had the option for an extra outdoors season, which the NCAA cancelled the spring sports calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown shuttered the track and field outdoors season, but the body gave the schools the option of taking the student/athletes back for next year.

Scott, who had represented Jamaica at the World Championships in London in 2017, was denied the chance to defend his NCAA title in March when the Indoors Championships were called off less than 24 hours before the scheduled start at the University of New Mexico.

“Not to discredit my success here at UVA and what the school has done for me the last four years, coaching staff, athletics trainers and all that,” Scott said.

“I think it was more a case of mentally being in a different place than the majority of my teammates. I was in a spot where I was thinking bigger things like the Olympics, the World Championships and stuff like that, whereas I felt every body else was still thinking more on the collegiate level and I felt like I had to put myself in a position where I would be surrounded by individuals who were thinking like I was,” Scott continued.

He had options to choose from, but said the chance to go to USC was one he could not ignore.

“With regards to the resources that USC has, the educational aspect of it as well, played a huge role [in decision]... I would be able to study there and overall just how good the school is were the biggest motivations for me making this switch.”

Scott will graduate from Virginia at the end of the current school year, and “yes I will get a degree”.

“[Then] I move on to USC where I will do my masters and get another degree,” he shared..

With his sights set on going as far as he can in the sport, probably signing a professional contract after he had completed his education, Scott reasoned that he wanted to find a place that would offer him long-term commitment.

“Another thing I looked at before making my decision was basically finding somewhere that would allow me to stay on after I graduated, if needs be and USC offered that,” he said.

“I am not sure if it will be a case where I will stay on as a grad student. My aim is to by then have establish myself as one of the better jumpers in the world and to possibly get a contract, so right now anything is possible,” Scott added.

The Jamaican will leave a massive legacy at Virginia, including dominating the all-time lists, both indoors and outdoors; winning four ACC titles, two indoors triple jumps and the outdoors long/triple jump double in 2019; nine all ACC and six all- American nominations.


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