The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

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.

There was a special guest at the women's national team camp this week. How do we feel about this? And what do we hope was said? Morgan Hurd discussed her potentially misdiagnosed knee injury in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics. Bart Deurloo announced his retirement. We pay tribute. NCAA Week 5 Friday featured the most 10s given out in a single day in college gymnastics in 19 years. Spencer is……going to be fine. We discuss which 10s might have been the realest, the problem with going stick-blind, and bring Correct or Corrupt to a possible 10 that wasn't. Plus, feedback on how judges get assigned to meets, how receipts would change everything, the judging of Suni Lee's vault, and when/why handstands became the be-all, end-all of bars Jessica has some awards of the week, an ode to Jordan Chiles, a score protest to honor, and some ideas for future post-routine celebrations SURVEY We want your opinion! Tell us what you think here. EXTRA CLUB CONTENT Club Gym Nerd members can watch the video version of the show, join us for live podcasts once a week, get extended and early releases of interviews, and have early access to live show tickets. Please login to your Club Gym Nerd account to watch this episode. Not a member? Join here. JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd (or give it as a gift!) for access to weekly Behind the Scenes episodes. Club Gym Nerd members can watch the podcast being recorded and see some of the gymnastics we discuss, plus get access to all of our exclusive interviews and Behind The Scenes episodes. Week One of College & Cocktails: The Friday Night NCAA Gymnastics Post-Meet Show is available to sample (even if you aren't a Club Gym Nerd member yet). Watch or listen here. Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have a Ukraine Fundraiser design, all proceeds go to the CARE Ukraine Crisis fund. RELATED EPISODES & RESOURCES College & Cocktails: UCLA at Utah What Happens in the Air, Stays in the Air NCAA Gymnastics with Vanessa Atler College & Cocktails: Minnesota at Iowa with Evan Heiter Can You Count to 3? College & Cocktails: Arkansas at Auburn College & Cocktails: Dial 1-800-Kazakhstan College Gymnastics Is Back College & Cocktails: Auburn at Florida Project K Episode 2 Project K Episode 1 Sitting in Pits Made of Mattresses Gymnastics History and Code of Points Archive from Uncle Tim MORE WAYS TO LISTEN HERE  
  1. 10-A-PALOOZA
  2. What Happens in the Air, Stays in the Air
  3. NCAA Gymnastics with Vanessa Atler
  4. Can You Count to 3
  5. College Gymnastics is BACK

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