BATON ROUGE -- LSU track star Trindon Holliday announced Tuesday that he will not participate at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan, in order to prepare himself to compete for the Tigers during the upcoming football season.
Holliday earned the right to compete for Team USA in the 100-meter dash and as a member of the 400-meter relay pool after winning a silver medal in the 100 at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis this past weekend.
His blistering time of 10.07 seconds in Friday’s final was second only to gold medalist Tyson Gay at 9.84, while reigning NCAA 100-meter and 200-meter champion Walter Dix of Florida State finished third in the event with a time of 10.09.
Holliday said that it was a difficult decision to sacrifice his chance to represent the United States at this year’s World Championships, but he believes it will pay dividends as he prepares for the upcoming football season and the U.S. Olympic Trials next summer.
“It really came down to me looking at the fact that I’d miss all of fall camp and the first couple of games during the season. I really didn’t want that,” Holliday said. “I also felt like it was important for me not to fall behind by missing so much class at the beginning of the semester. I pretty much based my decision on those two factors.
“The whole purpose of me going to the meet (USA Championships) was to get the experience I need to make the Olympic team next year. It was a lot of fun and was a great experience for me to be able to run against the best. I handled that pretty well, and now it’s back to football.”
LSU head track and field coach Dennis Shaver agreed that the main objective for Holliday competing at the USA Championships was to gain valuable experience running against the nation’s best sprinters as he attempts to make the U.S. Olympic team next summer.
“Our objective for Trindon competing at the USA Championships was to gain experience running against the best sprinters this country has to offer,” Shaver said. “He handled that really well, and this will give him a better chance to make the Olympic team next year. Now he knows what to expect when he lines up against the best sprinters in the world.”
LSU head football coach Les Miles said he is proud of what Holliday has accomplished this year as a two-sport standout, adding that he appreciates the open communication he has had with both Shaver and Holliday during this process.
“We support Trindon on his decision,” Miles said. “This was a personal decision that he had to make along with his family. Trindon is a very talented football player, and he is obviously very gifted on the track. By returning to football this year, he’ll continue to pursue his college degree, while also playing a key role on our football team.
“This decision will benefit Trindon in the long run in terms of his education and either sport he may choose to pursue in the future.”
Holliday enjoyed a breakout season on the track in 2007 as he shattered the school record in the 100-meter dash with a top time of 10.02. He was the national runner-up in the event while also anchoring the Tigers’ 4x100-meter relay team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on June 8.
He had similar success on the football field last fall as was a standout on special teams with five kick returns for an average of 32.4 yards per return, including a 92-yard return for a touchdown against Arkansas on Nov. 24. He also carried the ball 14 times for 172 yards and one touchdown with an average of 12.3 yards per carry.
Holliday’s mother, Gwen Richardson, is proud of what he has accomplished on the track and on the football field during his career at LSU, and she is excited about what the future holds for her son in both sports.
“I’m proud of Trindon for everything he’s accomplished in track this season and having the opportunity to represent his country in the World Championships,” Richardson said. “But we just sat down and talked about it and decided that it would be best for him to concentrate on football and his school work this fall. I respect the decision that he has made.”