UT should have a gymnastics program!

#29

DeerPark12

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#29
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.
All of this is right, BUT you're missing a point on the finances here.

Yes, schools like Georgia and Alabama are selling out 10-15,000-seat arenas for gymnastics. BUT they only have 5-6 home meets a year, meaning revenues on those ticket sales are still well below those of sports like women's basketball, baseball, softball, even volleyball, because those sports have 15-20 home dates that produce more total revenue with fewer attendees per date.

Gymnastics has a fairly small roster, BUT total spending per student-athlete is higher in gymnastics than in any other NCAA sport other than men's basketball. Gymnastics is, to my knowledge, the only sport other than diving where schools are required to carry catastrophic injury insurance, which is extraordinarily expensive. The travel is also extensive (and expensive) because so few schools nationally have gymnastics, you have to travel far and wide for non-conference meets.

I support women's sports as much as anyone, but I don't believe you'll see UT add any sports at any point in the foreseeable future.
 
#31

LV renaissance

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#31
All of this is right, BUT you're missing a point on the finances here.

Yes, schools like Georgia and Alabama are selling out 10-15,000-seat arenas for gymnastics. BUT they only have 5-6 home meets a year, meaning revenues on those ticket sales are still well below those of sports like women's basketball, baseball, softball, even volleyball, because those sports have 15-20 home dates that produce more total revenue with fewer attendees per date.

Gymnastics has a fairly small roster, BUT total spending per student-athlete is higher in gymnastics than in any other NCAA sport other than men's basketball. Gymnastics is, to my knowledge, the only sport other than diving where schools are required to carry catastrophic injury insurance, which is extraordinarily expensive. The travel is also extensive (and expensive) because so few schools nationally have gymnastics, you have to travel far and wide for non-conference meets.

I support women's sports as much as anyone, but I don't believe you'll see UT add any sports at any point in the foreseeable future.
I do get your point and I agree that finances would make it unlikely that UT would add Gymnastics at this point. At the same time, it is too bad that 62 Division I schools have found a way to fund a gymnastics program, whereas UT with so much revenue from sports does not. It is not a coincidence that every traditional football power in the SEC has a gymnastics program except for UT whereas some of the less successful athletic departments in the SEC are the ones that do not (Vandy, Mississippi schools).
 
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#32

vettefool

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#32
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.
Yep, gymnastics would in short order become a revenue producing sport. Now if we had a really good team like Bama and other sec schools it might be a big draw. Rowing produces no revenue that I can tell. I have no idea if the rowing team is good or not as the local media has no coverage.
i have always wondered why U.T. Didn’t have a gymnastics team??
 
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#33

turbovol

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#33
By my count we only have 10 women's athletics programs. Other schools have more. Michigan has 14 women's programs; Yale, 15; Stanford, 19 or 20!

We'd be better off having a women's field hockey or lacrosse than gymnastics. 550 four-year-colleges offer women's lacrosse; 283 colleges/universities have field hockey; 89 colleges/universities have rowing--and if you have a nice river right next to your campus, it makes sense to take advantage of it. Eighty-three colleges offer gymnastics--and many of them are very small schools.
 
#34

WVU05UT09

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#34
I do get your point and I agree that finances would make it unlikely that UT would add Gymnastics at this point. At the same time, it is too bad that 62 Division I schools have found a way to fund a gymnastics program, whereas UT with so much revenue from sports does not. It is not a coincidence that every traditional football power in the SEC has a gymnastics program except for UT whereas some of the less successful athletic departments in the SEC are the ones that do not (Vandy, Mississippi schools).
Just because 62 are sponsoring it doesn't mean they should be or will be in the near future.

Kentucky is a great example. Kentucky has consistently been finishing among the top 25 athletic programs under Mitch Barnhart. Kentucky also has among the highest number of sports in the SEC. Kentucky also now has a NIL problem for variety of reasons--part of which can be tied to Barnhart being unwilling to direct donors to the NIL collectives because he needs the money to fund his sports programs. Hes been successful in maintaining multiple winning programs but I expect that to end soon because the resources are spread too thin. That may already be manifesting itself as their big 4 sports (Football, Mens Basketball, Womens Basketball, and Baseball) are mediocre to straight trash this year.

To that point UT is doing just fine. Those football powers may have gymnastics but UT won titles in Mens Basketball, Baseball, Womens Soccer, Womens Swimming and came close in several others. So maybe UT should be commended in figuring out how to maximize resources with results. Which sports are you willing to take money from to fund a gymnastics program? What if that cut impacts their ability to compete for SEC championships? We have money is such an easy cliche but its not just sitting around in the bank unused. It has to be taken from somewhere else.
 
#35

Vol67

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#35
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!
An in-depth study was done and it was determined to be too costly in $$$ and in injuries. It also was weak on scholarship count. They added Softball, Soccer and Rowing. They had to smart with money and determined due to cost it was cost effective with overall budget.
 
#36

Vol67

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#36
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.
UT doesn't have the revenue you think they have.

  • No. 2 — Texas A&M — $211,960,034
  • No. 5 — Alabama — $174,307,419
  • No. 6 — Georgia — $157,852,479
  • No. 8 — Florida — $149,165,475
  • No. 9 — LSU — $147,744,233
  • No. 10 — Auburn — $147,511,034
  • No. 11 — Tennessee — $145,653,191
  • No. 16 — South Carolina — $136,032,845
  • No. 17 — Kentucky — $130,706,744
  • No. 19 — Arkansas — $129,680,808
  • No. 24 — Ole Miss — $117,834,511
  • No. 31 — Mississippi State — $100,062,237
  • No. 32 — Missouri — $97,848,195
Those numbers are why AD White has engineered a drive to raise yearly revenue.

revenuehttps://www.sportico.com/business/commerce/2021/college-sports-finances-database-intercollegiate-1234646029/

This is why if athletes get into TV money you'll see some sports dropped.
 
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#39

Raebo

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#39
It would be interesting to see the revenue/expenses broken down for some of these sports for schools in the SEC.
I don’t think schools are going to be making any big changes as long as there is a possibility that the courts could decide that athletes in some sports should be considered school employees, get paid, and can unionize.
 
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#40

Vol67

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#40
It would be interesting to see the revenue/expenses broken down for some of these sports for schools in the SEC.
I don’t think schools are going to be making any big changes as long as there is a possibility that the courts could decide that athletes in some sports should be considered school employees, get paid, and can unionize.
Georgia Athletics for instance gets money from the state
 
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#42

youcancallmeAl

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#42
Someone with knowledge please educate me on this: I've read that the baseball program has very few schollies to hand out because of Title 9, ie - there aren't enough female schollies to allow baseball to have more for their program. Is it a straight-forward matter that if we add a women's gymnastics we could also add baseball scholarships? Baseball is a potential revenue producing sport (only a few programs actually produce revenue, but ours could become that with the right facility, and AD White is working on that as we speak).
 
#43

CannonVol80

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#43
Someone with knowledge please educate me on this: I've read that the baseball program has very few schollies to hand out because of Title 9, ie - there aren't enough female schollies to allow baseball to have more for their program. Is it a straight-forward matter that if we add a women's gymnastics we could also add baseball scholarships? Baseball is a potential revenue producing sport (only a few programs actually produce revenue, but ours could become that with the right facility, and AD White is working on that as we speak).
I'm not sure Title IX has anything to do with the available number of baseball scholarships. If memory serves me correctly, the NCAA specifies the total number of scholarships available in each sport. Title IX mandates that a certain number of scholarships be made available for female athletes based on the total number of scholarships available for male athletes.

Jim
 
#44

DeerPark12

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#44
Someone with knowledge please educate me on this: I've read that the baseball program has very few schollies to hand out because of Title 9, ie - there aren't enough female schollies to allow baseball to have more for their program. Is it a straight-forward matter that if we add a women's gymnastics we could also add baseball scholarships? Baseball is a potential revenue producing sport (only a few programs actually produce revenue, but ours could become that with the right facility, and AD White is working on that as we speak).
No, the NCAA sets the scholarship limits for every sport. Title IX would require that an increase in scholarships in a men's sport would require an increase in a women's sport or sports. When there was a proposal a few years ago to increase the number of baseball scholarships from the current 11.7 to 14, there would have been 3 scholarships added to the limit in softball and one to volleyball. Ultimately, the proposal was voted against.
 
#46

youcancallmeAl

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No, the NCAA sets the scholarship limits for every sport. Title IX would require that an increase in scholarships in a men's sport would require an increase in a women's sport or sports. When there was a proposal a few years ago to increase the number of baseball scholarships from the current 11.7 to 14, there would have been 3 scholarships added to the limit in softball and one to volleyball. Ultimately, the proposal was voted against.
Well, I don't understand this. The proposal a few years ago you reference - was it a proposal by UT to the ncaa? or internal to UT? And if the increase would be from 11.7 to 14, that's only a 2.3 schollie increase for baseball by a 4 scholly add to women's sports. So, it isn't 1 for 1?
 
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#47

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#47
#48

DeerPark12

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#48
Well, I don't understand this. The proposal a few years ago you reference - was it a proposal by UT to the ncaa? or internal to UT? And if the increase would be from 11.7 to 14, that's only a 2.3 schollie increase for baseball by a 4 scholly add to women's sports. So, it isn't 1 for 1?
UT had nothing to do with it. It was a proposal by a NCAA committee made up of representatives from member schools ti the full NCAA. It was ultimately voted against at the NCAA Convention by NCAA member schools because many schools and conferences do not feel that it’s important to increase spending in those sports.

Yes, there has to be a roughly 2:1 increase in women’s scholarships because of the inequity in total numbers caused by the 85 scholarships in football. Because of that, all additions are made at roughly the 2:1 level.
 
#49

chuckiepoo

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#49
UT had nothing to do with it. It was a proposal by a NCAA committee made up of representatives from member schools ti the full NCAA. It was ultimately voted against at the NCAA Convention by NCAA member schools because many schools and conferences do not feel that it’s important to increase spending in those sports.

Yes, there has to be a roughly 2:1 increase in women’s scholarships because of the inequity in total numbers caused by the 85 scholarships in football. Because of that, all additions are made at roughly the 2:1 level.
Makes a lot of sense. I knew that huge roster size played a role, and rightly so.
 

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