Things Are Happening – May 12, 2020

A. USA is canceled

USAG announced today that the 2020 editions of Classic and Nationals are officially off and that we all just have to reset for the 2021 editions instead. Sigh. Previously, the party line had been that these events were postponed and that USAG would reassess possibilities for holding them in late summer or fall, but that always seemed like a pipe dream. You can’t really set a date (or venue) for nationals if you can’t set a date for athletes to return to their gyms first.

In a statement, USAG said, “Listen up, pee heads, we have literally no reason to try to organize these meets without crowds because then we can’t charge 8 million gold bars per ticket—or, I mean, after consulting with public health experts and in an effort to protect of our community and the wider world, we will not hold nationals this year.”

This follows what is becoming a pretty familiar pattern where the money sports desperately try to bend themselves into pretzels to get going again this summer, while the no-money sports recognize that they do not have the clout or incentive to make that happen and are refocusing on 2021.

Because it’s about the athletes.

B. Everyone else, also canceled

Since last we spoke re: things and happening, further details emerged about the complaints against Maggie Haney, largely revealing that she’s not just mean but also stupid (I mean, the period stuff, come on). The stories in this article are harrowing to say the least, and I would like to see an official response from those coaches who were rolling around Facebook a couple days ago being like, “IT’S JUST COACHING TOUGHEN UP DON’T QUIT JUHFLRFRRRFFRRR.”

Proposal of the day: This should be the biggest complaint you have about a coach

Sydney Freidin would also like you to know that this is far from a one-coach problem.

C. NCAA developments

The fact that nothing exists anymore has not stopped the usual revolving door of NCAA gymnasts, so here’s a rundown of the latest moves.

Mostly, it’s about Nebraska. So far this offseason, we’ve learned that Abby Johnston is transferring to Arkansas, Kaylee Quinn is transferring to Alabama, and that Ady De Jesus has been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed rule violation. Put that together with the departure of the 2020 seniors Taylor Houchin and Sierra Hassel, and we’re looking at a very different Nebraska squad for…the next time there might be a season. They’ll be relying on former junior elite Kinsey Davis and Canadian elite Chloe Lorange to do a lot right away.

Also, Nebraska…you OK?

In other developments, Hunter Dula has taken a medical retirement at Utah, but Utah also announced that Alani Sabado is joining a year early. Look how that worked out. Sabado was 3rd AA at JO nationals last year in the Junior E division and therefore will basically have never competed as a senior before she starts at Utah.

Our first members of LIU’s inaugural team are also coming in, the name of the group so far being former junior elite Cael Bixler. Bixler was a fetus-verbal to Oklahoma way back in the day, but that never materialized and she didn’t end up signing with anyone at all last November. Exactly the kind of gymnast you’re looking for with a new program. It’s basically a support group for people who were passed over by their dream schools.

Canadian L10 Alana Ricketts is also slated to join LIU’s first class, an athlete who looks like she should have competitive possibilities on vault and floor.

D. GymCastic

Last week’s episode in which we discuss The Haney is available now, and this week’s episode—a commission about fixing NCAA judging—will be available…fairly soon-ish.

Chinese Champs plus Project K Decoding Romanian Secret Police Files on The Karolyis with Dr. Simona Petracovschi GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

HEADLINES British Gymnastics Olympic Trials: Updates on the Downies' personal tragedy and the British trials bars controversy. Georgia-Mae Fenton and Ondine Achampong won the two days of trials, throwing everything into chaos What do they even do with Olympic team selection now? In Australia news, the Human Rights Commission report is out, and Peggy Liddick wrote that horrible letter. Update –  Liddick has been removed from judging at AUS Championships. Former US men's team coordinator Kevin Mazeika has been put on the USAG restricted list and cannot coach minors without adult supervision. PROJECT K: The Romanian Secret Police Files on the Karolyis Interview with Professor Simona Petracovschi, PhD, faculty of Physical Education and Sport West University of Timisoara, Romania, to discuss the relationship between the Securitate and the athletes in communist Romania. What was the Securitate and what was their relationship to the athletes vs average Romanian citizens in Communist Romania? Can reports from the Securitate files be trusted? The level of extreme privilege Marta and Bela Karolyi had even compared to the average coach. Her thought on the conclusions the Athlete A documentary draws about the arrival of the Karolyis in the US. The allegations of physical abuse dating back to the first year of Bela Karolyi coaching gymnastics. Child Protective Services in communist Romania. How was Olympic and World Champion, Maria Olaru treated after she published her book detailing abuse under the Romania gymnastics system in the late 80's through 2000. And the accidental live television admission about abuse made by the Minister of Sport to Maria. The current state of Romanian gymnastics and the importance of these documents for the sports culture worldwide. CHINESE NATIONALS The rise of the veterans – Lu Yufei and Zhang Jin top the AA, and three of the four event champions are 20+ Beam-to-beam-to-beam comparison of Li Shijia, Ou Yushan, and Guan Chenchen, that mostly ends up being Jessica sound effects Why Ou Yushan needs to be on the Olympic team anyway, and why weren't all the event champions added to the Olympic selection squad? Updates on all of our beloveds GYMTERNET NEWS Canada won't send athletes to Pan Ams, and Manrique says he's not going to the Olympics. JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd or buy a gift membership for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Behind The Scenes: More Project K (for Karolyi) Details Behind The Scenes: Project K Behind The Scenes: LIVE after NCAA Finals Behind The Scenes: Aimee Boorman to the Netherlands Behind The Scenes: Beam Smash Regionals Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have masks too! RELATED EPISODES Unitard Revolution Director Jessica Bendinger on Stick It Michigan Wins! Soviet Gymnastics: Not the Specter of Evil (Commissioned)
  1. Chinese Champs plus Project K Decoding Romanian Secret Police Files on The Karolyis with Dr. Simona Petracovschi
  2. Jessica Bendinger Interview
  3. Unitard Revolution
  4. NCAA Championships Recap and Jaime Santos Esq explains the NCAA case before the Supreme Court
  5. Soviet Gymnastics: Not the Specter of Evil (Commissioned)

13 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – May 12, 2020”

  1. No surprise at the Hunter Dula retirement ….she was also a fetus signing as a middle schooler so she has outlived her usefulness for Utah because they saw a new pretty thing in Sabado “coming early” …Utah as usual …


    1. She was injured most of this year and had back issues as a freshman. I don’t think she was “told” to medically retire. You don’t really want to mess with back fractures. I think she decided to go the Sabrina Schwab route. Expect she told them in time to bring on someone else. Sabrina told them after fall break.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This may vary by school, but I know at many (Most? All?) academic eligibility issues aren’t rule violations — they’re a separate category of ineligibility.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So, depending on the reason for dismissal, is she eligible to get picked up elsewhere? If whatever she did isn’t an NCAA violation. For example, drinking could get you kicked off the team ( under some circumstances) , but not make you NCAA ineligible. And I am not in anyway suggesting this happened – just picking an example. Is is likely for us to see her transfer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If she’s good enough, yeah of course.

      Wasn’t there a gymnast who got kicked off the team at Penn State and managed to upgrade to like, LSU or Florida or something?


      1. Randy Lau got kicked off LSU and ended up at Penn State. IIRC correctly Durante dismissed a gymnast for a social media violation at UGA and they also ended up at PSU.

        It will be interesting to see who finds a spot for DeJusus. And whether it was a true transgression or a line in the sand.


    2. It also depends on the rule that was broken — something that can get you kicked off of Team A may be no big deal on Team B. An example — and it’s an extreme example — is the superstar BYU basketball player who got kicked off the team for having premarital sex with his girlfriend. I think he was a senior at the time so transferring wasn’t on the table, but like 99 percent of colleges don’t dictate students’ sex lives via the honor code.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Former Nebraska gymnast Addy De Jesus just announced on her @addy_dejesus Twitter: “FEEL SO GOOD TO BE OFFICIALLY COMMITTED!!!
        🤗 ”

        She didn’t announce where she has committed to…maybe it’s to her boyfriend! LOL

        Speculation is UCLA since they apparently started following her on social media, and at least three of UCLA’s planned incoming Freshmen will likely defer to pursue the Tokyo 2021 Olympics: Jordan Chiles, Brooklyn Moors, and Ana Padurariu.

        Maybe Addy is the cousin of UCLA alum Sophina De Jesus (just kidding).


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