It’s heartbreaking to see the sport of men’s gymnastics continue to take a hit as we roll through the Pandemic. Over the last 10 years men’s collegiate programs have sadly been dropping off, but in the last few months Minnesota, Iowa, and William and Mary have announced they will be cutting their programs in the upcoming years due to financial reasons.
College gymnastics was a huge reason for why I became who I am today, and the experiences I had were life-changing. Along with meeting some of my best friends, it taught me many important life lessons that I feel are essential. Not to mention, when you look at the Olympic feeder system, an overwhelming proportion of gymnasts develop through a collegiate program.
I called together a group of men’s gymnastics experts to have an open and candid discussion about the problems, and what can be done. This included
- Kensley Behel from the GymCastic podcast
- Justin Spring, Head Coach of Illinois Men’s Gymnastics
- Brett McClure, the Men’s High-Performance Director for USAG
- Mike Burns, Head Coach of Minnesota Men’s Gymnastics
- Mark Williams, Head Coach of Oklahoma Men’s Gymnastics
Over an hour and a half, we discuss some crucial issues including
- When they feel the sport starts to be in danger of decline
- How Title IX and open-ended scorings impact programs dropping
- How COVID-19 and financial crisis has contributed to programs being cut
- The role of fundraising, sponsorship, and changing NCAA season structure for helping prevent program loss
- The role of USAG and the USOPC in helping Men’s NCAA Gymnastics
- What steps people can take right now to help save college men’s gymnastics
You can listen to the podcast episode on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher and also watch on YouTube below
Saving Men’s NCAA Gymnastics Roundtable Discussion
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