It’s a Wonderful Life for Frankel

“What kind of year have I had?” said Bonnie Frankel. “Would crazy be enough of an answer? No? Well, then say I graduated college, won an issue, ran fifth in the nationals, gambled on not working so I could better myself and stayed alone. I don’t want another powerful man to eat me up. I won’t pair until I’m stronger.”

Bonnie Frankel turned 49 this month. And, as she would be the first to tell you, is still in the process of becoming. She opened the year as a senior at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She had found out she couldn’t compete on the track team because her Division I eligibility had run out 26 years ago.

She originally entered college in 1962, did poorly and dropped out, but nonetheless started the clock on her five years of athletic eligibility. In those pre-Title IX days before the National Collegiate Athletic Association staged women’s championships the five-year eligibility rule was basically meant to prevent coaches from ripening football players for 10 or 12 years.

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She Wins One for the Ages : NCAA: Unprecedented ruling gives Bonnie Frankel, 48, one season of swimming eligibility at Loyola Marymount.

DALLAS — As NCAA Convention proposals go, it was a little on the unusual side, an issue impacting a single athlete whose eligibility has almost run out.

Then again, the case of Bonnie Frankel–runner, swimmer and 48-year-old college student–is anything but usual.

She has fought off a variety of demons, including breast cancer, a learning disability and a divorce.

After being out of school for 27 years, she enrolled at Santa Monica College in 1989 and discovered a passion for education and running.

Continue reading “She Wins One for the Ages : NCAA: Unprecedented ruling gives Bonnie Frankel, 48, one season of swimming eligibility at Loyola Marymount.”