UT should have a gymnastics program!

#1

LV renaissance

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#1
It is bewildering to me why such a great athletic program such as UT doesn't even field a gymnastics team. If you don't follow gymnastics, you might not realize how extremely popular women's gymnastics has become. In the SEC, women's gymnastics has either the 2nd or 3rd highest average attendance of any sport male of female at LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and possibly some others. Most of the schools above actually sellout their arenas when they have particularly good teams. Also, gymnastics average attendance is significantly better than women's basketball in the SEC. Don't get me wrong, I much prefer women's basketball. However, it is time for UT to start a gymnastics program and have another female sport thrive here!
 
#5

Majors

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#5
It's all about Title IX and matching the numbers of the men's programs. I believe that due to our proximity to the Tennessee River, UT chose to have a rowing team instead of a gymnastics team to make up the numbers needed.
And why Vanderbilt chose bowling over volleyball/softball.
 
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#7

LV renaissance

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#7
It's all about Title IX and matching the numbers of the men's programs. I believe that due to our proximity to the Tennessee River, UT chose to have a rowing team instead of a gymnastics team to make up the numbers needed.
That's a good point and I am all for them having a rowing team. However, there has been a general resistance against Title IX about how schools are having to fund so many relatively unsupported women's sports that it is odd that a major school would opt not to have a women's sport that has become so popular in their conference.
 
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#8

OrangeBeachVol

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#8
I believe they would have to drop a women's sport to add a new one but seems to me it would make sense from a financial view to drop a non-revenue supported sport for one that could be revenue producing if the attendance was as good as what some other SEC schools have.
 
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#10

Hoya Saxa

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#10
I believe they would have to drop a women's sport to add a new one but seems to me it would make sense from a financial view to drop a non-revenue supported sport for one that could be revenue producing if the attendance was as good as what some other SEC schools have.
Revenue producing?? Seriously?? Every women's athletic team at every U.S. university loses money. While gymnastics at LSU and other SEC schools is "popular," LSU women's gymnastics lost $2,372,972 last year. Does the University of Tennessee need to add another money-losing program to the athletic department? Who is going to pay for the shortfall? The taxpayers of Tennessee? Or do we still live in the stone age where it is the responsibility of a big strong man (Tennessee football) to be the breadwinner for all the frail helpless damsels who cannot support themselves? It does not "make sense from a financial view" to add yet another program that only drains limited financial resources from the university.
 
#18

Sam I Am

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#18
UT will NOT have a gymnastics program.

We did look at about 15 years ago. Did the study, talked to other schools who have one etc...

Long story short. Here is what you need to know about NCAA gymnastics programs....

Your first hire is NOT the coach. It is the psychologist! Not kidding.

Second hire is the coach, and good luck finding one. There are about 6-7 good ones and they are spoken for.

Welcome rowing team.....end of story.
 
#19

madtownvol

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#19
Revenue producing?? Seriously?? Every women's athletic team at every U.S. university loses money. While gymnastics at LSU and other SEC schools is "popular," LSU women's gymnastics lost $2,372,972 last year. Does the University of Tennessee need to add another money-losing program to the athletic department? Who is going to pay for the shortfall? The taxpayers of Tennessee? Or do we still live in the stone age where it is the responsibility of a big strong man (Tennessee football) to be the breadwinner for all the frail helpless damsels who cannot support themselves? It does not "make sense from a financial view" to add yet another program that only drains limited financial resources from the university.
I don't know, maybe Butch Jones could fund a team out of his $14 million golden parachute. Also, every men's team (except Football and basketball) operates at a loss so your stone age gender analogy is a bit on the Neanderthal side. Football is the cash cow that subsidizes other sports. Also, college athletic departments are non-profit entities so they are designed to re-allocate funds across their various sports.


Having said that, the financials of adding a new sport does not make much sense, particularly when the start-up would be in a conference with a lot of top tier programs.,
 
#20

cbrown

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#20
UT will NOT have a gymnastics program.

We did look at about 15 years ago. Did the study, talked to other schools who have one etc...

Long story short. Here is what you need to know about NCAA gymnastics programs....

Your first hire is NOT the coach. It is the psychologist! Not kidding.

Second hire is the coach, and good luck finding one. There are about 6-7 good ones and they are spoken for.

Welcome rowing team.....end of story.
Along with this, I don’t think the athletic training staff wants any part of gymnastics. The disproportionate time and resources needed to keep them healthy (exacerbated by the psychological makeup of these athletes) makes it a challenging sport to support.
 
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#21

LV renaissance

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#21
I agree that finances have to be considered. However, it seems apparent that some of the dialogue here is fueled more by antipathy towards women sports under the guise of only looking at it from a financial angle. College gymnastics is growing exponentially on TV, with both the SEC and ESPN networks increasing coverage and revenue every year. Unlike any other women's sports, the student sections are consistently packed at the big gymnastic schools. It also pulls in some unique fans (fans that don't follow the school's other sports), and so they likely increase contributions to the school and athletic department that are not clearly earmarked as being from gymnastic fans. If you don't believe how gung-ho gymnastic fans are, watch one of the broadcasts. Last night I watched LSU at Utah. They said that over the past 20 years Utah had an average attendance of just below 15,000 which is about the capacity of their arena. They were all wearing red and white Utah clothing, which I imagine again doesn't get earmarked as gymnastics revenue but just goes to the general apparel revenue. As someone who supports women sports, it is great to a women's sport that is so supported by the students and the general public. I am an alumnus of both LSU and UT, and am certainly glad that LSU has gymnastics. In fact, their gymnastic program is a source of school and community pride with the coaches being local celebrities. I love that Lady Vol basketball has this impact in Knoxville and to a lesser extent the softball team. I just think UT is missing the boat by not having one of their women's sports be the one that is becoming so popular with growing tv revenue.
 
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