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The_Black_Hand, Don't believe everything you read. The comment I made was that we wanted to protect the athletes and to minimize the chance of having another high-profile injury. The reason for that was that all it would take is one more cheerleading injury that stopped an NCAA basketball tournament game on national television to have college administrators across the country start banning their cheerleaders from any stunts. This was not a knee-jerk reaction. The discussion about 2 1/2 high pyramids and basket tosses was already on the agenda for our upcoming college rules meeting. In light of that, and the injury, we determined we would go ahead and put the restriction in place for the remainder of the season. Now, about Oregon State. This appears to be much more about something they've been wanting to do for a while than real concern for the athlete's safety. If that were indeed the case, they would be eliminating all of their sports. To be clear, the NCAA has not made any restrictions on cheerleading other than that they follow our safety rules and that coaches are safety certified by August 1, 2006. These athletes are young adults. They do understand the risk involved and they accept it. At the same time, the NCAA's insurance company covers them with catastrophic insurance coverage like all of the other athletes, and there has to be a balance between what is possible and what is allowed. Safety precautions prior to this incident included requiring two spotters for every person above 2-high. Flipping basket tosses were already not allowed on the basketball court as well. Whether those skills will be further restricted as they are right now, or whether additional measures such as requiring two spotters in front and back, remains to be seen. There is a balance going on here that tries to find a reasonably safe performance level with the purpose of the cheerleading program in each environment (basketball, football, competition). I hope that clears up the issue a little bit. Jim Lord Executive Director American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators
posted by jlo at 11:02 PM on April 06
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