A little while ago, the Temple men’s gymnastics program was cut (along with a few other schools). The school claimed, forgive me for paraphrasing, they didn’t have enough money to fund the team, football is the most important, blah, blah, etc., etc.
I totally agree with the fact that gymnastics is a very expensive sport in general. You have all the equipment, apparel and extra supplies that aren’t optional. However, there are things that can be done that don’t involve cutting an entire program. Boys’ gymnastics is an endangered species as it is, so cutting programs right and left (see Berkeley’s struggles) isn’t the solution. Sure, the Temple men aren’t the greatest program in the country, but they are only one of 17 teams left in the NCAA.
I feel like the problem also goes back to Title IX. My views on Title IX are probably not the most popular out there. It is outdated and causes more trouble nowadays than it’s worth. Why have 50+ girls on the equestrian team at a school when the majority of them will never see the competition ring? Because they need to balance out the football team, that’s why. Let me pause for a second and say that I’m not bashing equestrian in the slightest. I’m merely saying that only people who have the potential of riding need scholarships and the rest of the money can go to funding another team, creating a new team or anywhere else.
Seeing as we must have Title IX… While more than half of these teams are sitting at home during away meets, women’s lacrosse teams could be playing or women’s crew teams or even women’s rugby. But like I said earlier, the rule is outdated. It was a great idea back when women weren’t given the same opportunities as men. It was great when it helped get women’s sports started at universities. However, now it just prevents more men’s gymnastics teams, more men’s soccer teams, more men’s volleyball teams having a place at the school.
With Temple’s men’s gymnastics team teetering on the edge of extinction, something needs to be done. No, it won’t ever be as popular as football — nothing will in the United States. But it can provide an enjoyable activity for not only the athletes who’s passion it is to flip around but for the fans who love watching the sport as well. I, personally, would kill to have a men’s gym team near me that I could go and watch, but until something changes, that’s not going to happen in the near or distant future.