A federal judge in Connecticut judge ruled
Wednesday that cheerleading does not qualify as a sport under Title IX.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed against Quinnipiac
University by members of the school's women's volleyball program over
the school's plan to replace the volleyball team with a cheer squad.
The cheer squad, the judge ruled, doesn't count as a valid substitute
for the volleyball team, and can't be used to satisfy the requirement
of "equal opportunities for men and women in athletics," summarized the
Associated Press. It's a story that has caught the attention of cheer
and cheer-nots alike.
- The Definition of a Sport Deanna Harvey
of the New York Daily News--an ex-cheerleader herself--can't fathom how
an activity that requires so much athletic prowess isn't a sport.
began cheering my freshman year of high school and it immediately gave
me a confidence I'd never had before. It also made me appreciate what
it takes to succeed in a competitive, challenging and dangerous
environment - and isn't that the definition of a sport?"
- Frustration for Cheerleaders Cheer coach Eric Contreras told Britt Moreno
of Fox 10 (Phoenix) that the ruling will kill scholarship oppurtunities
for cheerleaders. The days of participants using cheerleading as a way
to "get their educations paid for through these universities" might be
over said Contreras.
- Regional Bias? Theresa Walsh Giarusso
of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution complained that a judge from
Connecticut lack the expertise to rule on an overwhelmingly southern
pastime. "I will venture to guess that Judge Underhill has never been
down South and watched a competition cheerleading squad prepare or
- How the University Screwed Up Quinnipiac's biggest
mistake might have been not taking their cheer program seriously
enough, suggests Chris Hansen of the Oregon Register-Guard. In his comparison of the Quinnipiac cheer
program to the University of Oregon's, he notes Quinnipiac "didn't
provide a locker room for its competitive cheer team, didn't allow
off-campus recruiting during the first year, didn't have a national
search for a head coach and ultimately turned its sideline cheerleading
squad into its competitive cheer team."
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