College Gym: Where Are We on This?

Is there a season? What’s happening? Who is she? Does she go here anymore?

As we stand right now, a majority of the top-conference teams have been able to return to campus and are preparing as if there is going to be a season, albeit potentially a modified one. Typically by this point, the teams would have released their season schedules, but very few have done so thus far because of, um, er, well…all the questions? Such as, is there a season? The deadline for schedule submission was extended to October 29 and likely beyond as everyone tries to figure out what they’re doing, when they can start, what schools can host meets and when, and…

Some of us (won’t say who) are hoping for an official announcement that the entire season will be held without fans because of the social experiment we would get into what happens to scoring when teams that usually have 10,000 people there suddenly don’t have 10,000 people there. Or, I mean, because of the safety. That.

Last week, the NCAA announced that athletes currently on rosters for the 2021 season will receive an extra year of eligibility, essentially meaning that the 2021 season won’t count against their four years of competition time, whether they compete or not. On the one hand, this is excellent in allowing athletes the flexibility to look out for themselves—or go for the Olympics—without being worried about wasting eligibility time. For instance, Brooklyn Moors previously announced that she would be redshirting the upcoming season, but with this decision, 2021 does not have to count as her redshirt year, should she later need to take a redshirt year because of an injury.

On the other hand, it does make one think, “hey, so, are you planning on there not being a season?” Because on the third hand (what, you didn’t grow a third hand during COVID), if there does end up being some manner of relatively normal season in 2021 that concludes with a championship, then those who compete this season will potentially get to enjoy five years of competition time, while those who were seniors last season got only 3.5 years of competition time. So there are some possibly inconsistent consequences here.

In team news, William and Mary has reinstated its previously cut women’s gymnastics team under threat of a Title IX lawsuit.

Always. Be. Litigious. William and Mary was supposed to compete in 2021 regardless, but now 2021 will no longer be the team’s final season. We think.

Meanwhile, Alaska is continuing to raise funds to try to save its team from being eliminated after 2021, and the SUNY system has announced that winter sports are canceled this year. For gymnastics purposes that means that DIII teams Cortland and Brockport will not compete in the upcoming year, joining DII West Chester which previously announced the same thing. DII University of Bridgeport is just not going to exist anymore as an institution soon and does not currently have a head coach—with Byron Knox moving on to Southern Connecticut—so expectations are low there.

As for me, I’m going to pretend like everything is normal. Which means starting the freshman previews fairly soon.


So of course the second after I write this, 14 million things happen.

Item #1) Deanne Soza, who was supposed to start her college career at Utah in the upcoming season, has announced her retirement. This is, you know, not exactly the first Texas Dreams athlete to have had to medically retire in college (though it’s also worth noting that she moved to TD fairly late and the lion’s share of her elite training happened at Arete). She cites her “physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”

Item #2) Emma Malabuyo confirmed that she is deferring until next season. (She did not appear on UCLA’s initial roster.) That makes Chiles, Padurariu, Moors, and Malabuyo who will all wait it out until after the Olympic year. It’s going to be a…different UCLA roster than they expected to have next season.

Item #3) The one you didn’t see coming: Elise Ray is leaving Washington to move closer to family. That’s a real drag.

51 thoughts on “College Gym: Where Are We on This?”

  1. The William & Mary story is so weird. Apparently they were already out of compliance with title IX but thought they could cut three women’s teams and no one would notice?

    I think I read somewhere that teams will be permitted to exceed the scholarship cap in the 21-22 academic year but not after, which means some tough choices down the line.

  2. Sooo, Deanne Soza has retired before her first college meet and Elise Ray just resigned at Washington to move closer to family with her kids ….

    1. I’m guessing there’s a bigger story behind the Ray resignation, and likely a very sad one. Wishing her and her family the best.

      1. What’s the story with Elise? All I read was that it was about being close to family. She is from the DC area so are they moving back there?

  3. “Because on the third hand (what, you didn’t grow a third hand during COVID), if there does end up being some manner of relatively normal season in 2021 that concludes with a championship, then those who compete this season will potentially get to enjoy five years of competition time, while those who were seniors last season got only 3.5 years of competition time. So there are some possibly inconsistent consequences here.”

    This is similar to what happened to the 2017 senior cohort of gymnasts… no Olympics in five years of their career, yet the 2021 seniors get two Olympics within three years. So at least we’re being consistently unfair across NCAA and elite! 🙄

    1. Not really. 2017 senior still have an olympics (the same two olympics as 2021 seniors, in fact, should they choose to keep competing) to go. It will just be harder for American seniors to make the team. It’s not all about them lol.

      1. Yes really. Given that your injury risk increases in gymnastics over time (due to use more than age), it’s a disadvantage for 2017 seniors hoping to attend an Olympics during their careers (certainly, specific ones might benefit).

        Sometimes life’s not fair and you just have to deal with the circumstances, but it’s stupid to claim otherwise.

      2. Yeah, the 1982-born gymnasts win on being screwed the most. Gymnasts born in 1981 were age-eligible for 1995 Worlds, 1996 Worlds, 1996 Olympics, and 1997 Worlds. Be born one year later and you are stuck waiting until 1999 Worlds, a full four years later than someone who was one year older than you was eligible. Such bullshit.

      3. lol guys don’t mind beamscoring; he’s a smarmy idiot on every website. pretty much any older senior from any nation with team spots will now have to contend with additional gymnasts born in 2005 who would not have been an issue for an Olympics held in 2020, and even those hoping to earn nominative places through eg. continental championships may have to contend with new seniors from other countries vying for the same spots (and with new seniors from their own countries for a place on the continental championship squad).

        but wrt. the 1982-born cohort @8:59 Oct 24th anon – I don’t really see how you’re supposed to raise the senior age without having a year-cohort of athletes who “miss out” on a year of competition that the year-cohorts before them got? no, there was no Worlds in 1998, but the new seniors could contend for the Goodwill Games (structured very much like a non-team Worlds) and, for European athletes (where most of the top countries were at the time), the European championships. (An important aside to this is, why was Atler paced as though she WAS having a senior debut in 1997, even though it had been known for a while that she would not be?)

        as for the ’81 babies getting to compete in 1995, that’s a little unfair, but it was also not unique to this age group, as every year-cohort which officially turned senior in an Olympic year was given this exception for qualification purposes through the Beijing 2008 cycle. I’m fairly sure it was only changed after that because the Olympic qualification procedures had been modified enough that athletes from non-team countries had a way to qualify to the Games without having to personally be at the previous year’s Worlds (instead, other athletes from their country could secure a Test Event place, and they could attend the Test Event in the spring of the Olympic year). But don’t quote me on that.

      4. Personally, I think that since there wasn’t going to be a Worlds in 1998, that would have been a great time to raise the age and screw the fewest number of people. But the FIG would never worry about stuff like that.

        In any event, I understand why it happened. I just think elite gymnasts born in 1982 were exceptionally unlucky with timing. There is nothing wrong with saying that.

  4. Personally I think the extra year of eligibility should only kick in if COVID cancels the number of meets that would be the equivalent of triggering medical redshirt eligibility (that’s incoherent, it’s early, you know what I mean).

    I assume this is all about preventing men’s basketball players from opting out en masse, but it’s going to cause massive drama down the line if the season proceeds as usual, the majority of this year’s freshmen/sophomores take the bonus year, and scholarship caps are reinstated after 21-22. I’m thinking that current seniors and superstars will be encouraged to take the bonus year and everyone else will be pressured not to.

    1. Rude, unnecessary, not helpful. I don’t know what in the hell y’all have against LSU, but I teach those athletes and this is not called for.

      1. What on earth is wrong for saying that a school that prioritizes athletics over academics is doing… exactly that? It’ll be uncalled for as soon as LSU acts like a state-funded academic institution instead of a profit-driven sports event management firm.

      2. Entitled, humorless, spoiled rotten. If only you’d stopped with this post, sweetie pie–but no, you had to expose your true assholishness at length.

    2. So I’ll say this – I also found this rude and unnecessary and, most important,y, untrue. I have been a big LSU gym fan for the last 4 years or so and I am not aware of anyone who didn’t graduate on time. The only one I can think of is priessman who may have. Ended one more summer to complete her degree. So please stop throwing stones at LSU merely because it is southern – you truly don’t know anything about it’s athletics or academics that is relevant.

    3. Actual question on the LSU placement exam:

      True or False. Spaghetti and a computer are different things.

    4. Q: How many LSU freshman does it take to change a light bulb?

      A: None, it’s a sophomore course.

  5. LSU just canceled fall commencement “on the advice of public health experts” but is continuing to hold home football games with fans in attendance and is expected to play a regular basketball season as much as possible. Live sports is a tradeoff, and the other half of that tradeoff is costing several thousand students their only college graduation. Just in case y’all were wondering.

    1. Gotta get that coin!

      I attended a state school of similar size and culture to LSU and knew a bunch of people who graduated in December. For the most part, the December graduation folks were much less invested in the pomp and circumstance of commencement than their May counterparts — either most of their friends had graduated the previous spring or they were looking to graduate early for very specific reasons that trumped any emotional investment in the commencement ceremony. It’s a grossly cynical cash grab by LSU, but not one that’s likely to cost them much in the way of alumni loyalty ($$$ from the students who just had their commencement taken away).

      1. I was supposed to get my PhD in December, and I’m plenty invested in all the ceremony and ritual that would have gone into that, so thanks for discounting and correcting that for me, I didn’t realize how incorrect my attachment to the culmination of a lengthy and painful process was.

      2. Hence “for the most part.” I’m very sorry that this happened to you, but your issue is with LSU, not with my post that you did not carefully read.

      3. No, pretty sure my issue’s still also with your post—the long-term financial implications of the decision to cancel commencement are absolutely not an excuse for it, and your post reads as though you are doing exactly that. We know why they did it, we don’t need people defending them or saying why it’s not actually that bad. When did people’s emotional needs become so trivial and disposable? Even around here—“well Development X sucks for the athletes, but for XYZABCDEFG reasons it’s okay.”

      4. Good Lord, do you have any idea how entitled you sound? You have the opportunity to earn a PhD. Do you have any idea how many people would give their right arm to be able to do something like that but were prevented by circumstances beyond their control? It’s a lot more than eventually end up getting them, let me tell you. And here you are pitching a whiny hissy fit in the middle of a pandemic because *you* won’t get to put on a gown walk across a stage, and shake someone’s hand. Walking at commencement is emotionally fulfilling – I know that, it took me *eleven years* to finally be able to finish my bachelor’s degree – but it is hardly, as you seem to think, an “emotional need”. Be grateful for the opportunities you have instead of whining that a public health measure done *to keep you safe* personally inconveniences you without regard for all the other people it would put at risk.

      5. Ally you have got to stop taking everything so personally. Especially if you plan on taking that PhD to the academic job market, where the absolute last thing anyone cares about is your feelings.

      6. Well, thanks to the massive wave of students who are just as entitled as me and so incredibly, unforgivably selfishly want LSU to stop being so hypocritical, administration is walking back their decision to cancel commencement and are looking in to ways to hold it in person–because it was pointed out to them that somehow they can play football with 10,000 singing, shouting people in attendance every other Saturday but can’t figure out how to have 5,000 people sitting quietly six feet apart for a few hours in December. I hope all of you have not engaged in hypocrisy yourselves and have been treating your own sacrifices–pardon me, inconveniences–with the same contempt that you’ve treated mine.

        Nowhere did I say one word about valuing the ceremony more than the PhD, which I’ve been working on for five years. I am frustrated and disappointed with LSU’s decision to prioritize football over its students, and I am angry that expressing any amount of frustration or disappointment is apparently equivalent to “pitching a whiny hissy fit.” I’m perfectly within my rights to be upset about losing out on an important milestone that I had looked forward to for several years, and I’m just as within my rights to be hurt when Anon@9:04 commented that canceling December commencement is not that bad because the people participating in it were less likely to actually care about it. This decision does not personally “inconvenience” me alone–roughly 3,000 people are expected to graduate this semester, and had their commencement traded for a few football games.

        (By the way, we pay for these ceremonies. LSU charges graduation fees to the tune of $400, separate from cap/gown/hood/whatever, and explicitly told us that they did not intend to refund that money even though there would be no ceremony. If y’all can’t have empathy for a couple thousand people losing out on crucial life milestones that can never be replaced, then you could at least appreciate our frustration that LSU charged us for an event that they then decided not to provide and refused to return the money.)

      7. @I lived to tel lthe tale. ACTUALLY, no. Been there, done that, got the worthless piece of paper, and you are completely full of shit. NOTHING would have induced me to spend one more miserable moment in the academic abattoir–particularly at one of their disgusting ‘ceremonies’–when I was finally done jumping through their hoops and functioning as one of their abused slaves. The graduations for those getting terminal degrees are even more farcical, self-deluding, and joyless than the undergrad cosplays. There is nothing celebratory about finishing a Piled Higher and Deeper, there is only relief and the sense of amazement that one wasted that much of one’s life which one will never get back.

    2. If the commencement ceremony means more to you than the actual degree you worked years to earn, you might need to reevaluate your priorities.

      1. Actually, no. The ceremony means a lot when you’re a PhD because doctoral programs are the ultimate hazing ritual. The bullying isn’t imaginable to anyone who hasn’t been through it. It’s terrible in the humanities and social sciences, and even worse in STEM. Anyone who survives the process deserves to celebrate and rub their diploma in the faces of all the naysayers (who, unfortunately, will outnumber the supporters).

      2. Plenty of people are making sacrifices they didn’t expect to even though they worked their asses off, I truly believe if these phds can survive said hazing they’ll be able to survive missing out on commencement. You’ll only have the rest of your life to “rub it in” lol

      3. @I lived to tel lthe tale. ACTUALLY, no… Been there, done that, got the worthless piece of paper, and you are completely full of shit. NOTHING would have induced me to spend one more miserable moment in the academic abattoir–particularly at one of their disgusting ‘ceremonies’–when I was finally done jumping through their hoops and functioning as one of their abused slaves. The graduations for those getting terminal degrees are even more farcical, self-deluding, and joyless than the undergrad cosplays. There is nothing celebratory about finishing a Piled Higher and Deeper, there is only relief and the sense of amazement that one wasted that much of one’s life which one will never get back.

    3. @Ally ‘Emotional needs,’ KAREN? Just in case your bitchass was wondering, we’re in a PANDEMIC here. You’ll still have your Piled Higher and Deeper, by the way, without the dog and pony show/cosplay with mortarboards and academic drag. But you just couldn’t stop posting your drivel although you have been mortified, schooled, and thoroughly refuted by several different commenters. Must be a closet masochist, honey. Your entitled and puling little self will survive this horrendous trauma just fine, although it’s very unlikely you will ever get hired given your vomitous entitlement and cuntitude.

  6. It sucks you may have to miss something you were looking forward to because LSU is being hypocritical but you started this idiotic “debate” by jumping on everyone in the thread.

    Lots of people won’t care that much about missing commencement, outside of losing $400. (Personally, I wouldn’t). Some people, including you, really will. It sucks and sounds frustrating. Ok? If you need more empathy, which it sounds like you do, try literally anywhere else besides derailing a gymnastics thread on a blog.

  7. I’m guessing Karen’s Ph.D is in Exercise Science.

    Day 1: Stretching is good.
    Day 2: Here’s your diploma.

    Anyway, Elise left UW because her team hates her.

      1. Yeah. Fake.

        The Exercise Science Ph.d program at LSU is:

        Day 1: Calories are important.
        Day 2: Here’s your diploma.

      2. I mean maybe, but that’s never caused a coach to leave a head coach job before has it?

  8. This is the most dumbass goddamn comment section I’ve seen in a long time.

    – There are things in life more important than walking in your grad ceremony for any degree. Doesn’t mean missing the celebration of all your hard work isn’t disappointing. Doubly so when the school is cancelling it based off of reasons that seem completely bogus when compared with events they are still allowing to continue.

    – It’s perfectly legitimate to feel pretty fed up with your school at the completion of your degree. I felt much the same. But your bad experiences aren’t universal and projecting them onto every other human to ever attend a college is pretty damn presumptuous.

    – LSU is an accredited research institution. Love em or hate em (I’m a Bama grad from a Bama family, so def hate em) the degrees they award are legitimate. The poor financial management of the school as of late is not in the hands of the students who are just trying to get an education, any more than the poor management by many colleges of hate crime response is in the hands of the black kids trying to go to school without being lynched. They’re probably more frustrated about it than you are.

    – It’s ridiculous that all of you have apparently finished college or even grad school, and are thus at the LEAST twenty-something Genuine Adults and still think it’s okay to act like this. Go back and read what you wrote, and tell me if you would be proud for the whole world to know that you say things like that to people you don’t know from Adam.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

    1. You are the most fucking imbecilic, unwarrantedly self-righteous piece of work to embarrass itself here in ages.

      –Virtually everything having to do with safety and public health in Plagueworld is more important than walking in a ‘ceremony’ to receive a degree. Continued survival, the public good, the desire not to infect others, little things like that that YOU don’t know jack shit about. You don’t like the fact that LSU, like every other university and college now, is all about sportsball revenues? Or that the poor widda Piled Higher/Deeper candidate didn’t get to walk because of that? Grow up, whiny little brat; your extraordinarily delicate emotional needs and those of precious little ‘Ally’ are not the center of their universe or anyone else’s but your OWN–more specifically, your own CLOACAE, which is where your heads reside.

      –It’s perfectly legitimate to have a good experience with grad school, though virtually no one does. Your delusions about ‘projection’ (which is exactly your favorite activity, by the way), however, are of no interest to the vast majority who speak from experience reinforced by myriad (look it up, troll!) conversations with other students both then and now.

      –If ‘accreditation’ (which is as easily bought and paid for as degrees from Ivy schools) is your idea of an excuse for LSU’s greed, criminal mismanagement, and notoriously low academic standards, you really shouldn’t be attempting to cross the street alone. (See earlier comment about growing up.)

      –It is truly ludicrous that you, who claim to be a graduate and an ‘adult,’ think your pompous attempts at pontification interest anyone here. Let me get this straight: entitled little bint “Ally” whined, bitched, moaned, puled, and kept on posting various hilarious choplogic about the violation of her rights as a KAREN–and you think your attempts to defend her are justified, much less mature?


      1. It’s fine to feel fed up with LSU over this but why bring it to the comment section of BBS looking for sympathy? And then lash out wildly at people for not commiserating in exactly the way you wanted them to?

        It’s not even gymnastics related. Also FYI to literally everyone: no one cares if you have a PhD or not, except your parents (if you’re lucky).

  9. 45 Comments? I’m thinking, Wow! Gonna lot’s of great content here this week…and then???? PLEEZZE! It’s the BBS guys… you know, BEAM…like gymnastics! Save this garbage for your much needed therapists! Meanwhile, back at comment 13…WE were talkin gym stuff…

    1. Bitch, puhLEEEEEAZE. No one is stopping you from commenting on gymnastics here. No one is forcing you to read comments unrelated to gymnastics. And NO ONE is forcing you to make asswipe comments which you think are the cutest little snark on earth. Got it? Good. Shut the FUCK UP!

  10. Gym content: Yurchenko-fulls. Worth 9.95.

    Nobody outside the south thinks LSU is a place where learning happens.

  11. So sorry that you can’t seem to express yourself without cursing. I will pray for you and all the others using such blasphemy.
    There are many who read this website that are not yet adults and are young and impressionable. Please show some respect.
    “The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.”

    1. Sweetie pie, there is so much wrong with your fake Xtofascism it can’t even be unpacked. Real KAHRISTYUNS don’t post bitchy little attempts at snark on public fora. Also, dear, there is no GAWUD, your sky-fairy asshole is a figment of your diseased and ignorant little mind, and you are the one DESPERATELY in need of therapy. Preferably electroshock followed by full lobotomy. Put yourself, your theofascism, and your newest SCROTUS whore Aunty Covid Bitchcunt where the sun don’t shine (you know, where you use your little devotional aids to pleasure yourself.) 😀

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