Women's Gymnastics Preps for Final Season After Being Cut
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Category: Sports > Winter > Gymnastics (Women's)
The future of the Cal women's gymnastics team had been teetering in the balance.
There was talk last academic year about cutting sports to lessen the athletic department's costs. After both the Chancellor's Advisory Council and the Academic Senate Task Force recommended the university not cut teams, the threat of losing the program seemed to dissipate.
A few days before Tuesday's announcement, head coach Cari DuBois informed her team that the danger of elimination had resurfaced. At a Tuesday meeting with Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, the gymnasts were given the news.
"At first I was just in shock," sophomore Chelsea Spomer said. "Something that I love and have been doing for my whole life was taken away from me and I had no control over it."
Pac-10 success was one factor in the decision to retain and cut squads. The Bears have finished last in their conference 18 of the last 24 seasons, reaching as high as fifth twice during that span.
The current members of the team are not the only ones crushed by Tuesday's news.
"It is frustrating to see an approach that eliminates opportunities for student athletes," USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny said in an online statement. "There are other avenues to explore and ways to try and address circumstances such as these without taking such extreme measures."
After reeling with this shock, team members must decide if they will remain at Cal or transfer. Junior captain Alex Leggitt, however, has firmly resolved to stay at Cal.
"I am just as in love with the university as I am with the sport," Leggitt said.
Now, the team must write the final chapter in the program's history, beginning competition in January.
"It's hard to imagine getting back into workouts and getting back up on the beam," Leggitt said, "and working as hard as we normally do for such a great season because everyone's just so hurt right now."
Contact Christina Jones at [email protected]
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