The HARTFORD COURANT has big news today, but buries the lede. The newspaper notes that UConn has banned its cheerleading squad from performing gymnastic manuevers in favor of a “spirit squad.”
In other words, those crazy dangerous stunts you see performed during college sports events? You won’t see them anymore at Storrs.
Christine Wilson, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of student activities, said the change was made because “we want people formerly called cheerleaders to focus in on building spirit at UConn, on spending time working on ways to engage fans and to really spread Husky spirit” rather than spend hours perfecting stunts.
Of course, we know the real reason for the ban, and the Courant fails to even bring it up. Read more…
Chalk this one up to the, “but didn’t we already know that?” department: After a few weeks of legal wrangling, it can now officially be confirmed that cheerleading is not a contact sport. It’s not. In fact, even though it most assuredly isn’t, you probably wish it was: According to a Wisconsin appellate court, cheerleading doesn’t qualify as a contact sport because, “it does not involve physical contact between opponents.” Evidently the third-quarter gift exchange doesn’t count. Now a defendant’s only hope for avoiding a pricey trial and verdict might be to push the decision one-stop further, hoping that the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides cheerleading isn’t a sport at all.
(This isn’t a sport? Really? Please say it’s a sport again.)
The decision was brought — and made relevant — by a case filed by ninth-grade cheerleader Brittany Noffke, who sued fellow Holmen High School cheerleader Kevin Bakke for failing to properly spot her while practicing a three-person stunt, according to the MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FACULTY BLOG. As you’ve probably already pieced together, Noffke fell while being thrust upwards during the stunt, suffered a head injury and sued Bakke for negligence.
While it may seem like cheerleaders have all the fun by dating Thad the All-State Quarterback or by getting the glory of being named Prom Queen, as the movie “But, I’m a Cheerleader” has shown, there’s a dark underbelly to the all the gum-twirling and general airheadedness. And in some cases, that underbelly is deadly!
(”See! Cheerleading is SO a sport!”)
According to LIVESCIENCE, cheerleading “is far more dangerous than any other sport” for high school and college women. And that’s even before taking into consideration the daily dangers of riding in elevators or undergoing excrement-based hazing rituals.
Any jerks out there who still fall under the “cheerleading is not a sport” cloud, take a look at some of these gory stats: