For Colleges, Gymnastics is Expensive
While the gymnastics community has been up in arms, it is not hard to understand the position of the colleges and Universities. To run the program, they must shoulder the expense of a large specialized training facility, which can only be used for those few gymnasts on the team and cannot even double as a competition arena. No other students in the University are allowed to use the facility for liability reasons.
Collegiate Gymnastics Facilities Serve Very Few Students
In general, the expense of the equipment and facility for so few students in what is generally a non-revenue sport leads to the decision that so many Universities have made. Shut down the gymnastics program and increase other women’s programs and just eliminate the men’s program to even up the Title 9 ratios.
Privatization – Club Programs Provide Coaching, Facilities and Equipment
The innovative solution to benefit all parties is to privatize gymnastics training. By this we mean, that private gymnastics clubs should negotiate a deal with their local college/University to provide the coaching, equipment and training facility for the college/University gymnastics team.
University Provides Scholarships and Competition Team Expenses
The University would provide payment for the coaching, scholarships, travel and all other competition and NCAA costs. The college would provide trainers, strength facilities, team manager, scholarships and dealings with the NCAA. . The gym can afford to be very reasonable in renting their gym facility and equipment to the college since they should already be making a profit without this program
This allows colleges/Universities to provide a gymnastics team with scholarships at a greatly reduced cost to them and improves the income level of the private club and coach. The sport of gymnastics can halt the shrinkage in collegiate programs and perhaps even reverse the trend for both men and women. This privatization strategy can work for colleges and Universities that currently have programs, reopen dropped programs or start new teams where there never was a program before.
The Sport and All Parties Benefit
This type of privatization could benefit all parties involved. The sport of gymnastics could benefit from more college scholarships and a growing (instead of shrinking) number of collegiate programs. Collegiate men’s gymnastics programs could again provide the basis for our international men’s competitors. Private clubs could have another source of income, prestige and future scholarships for their age-group gymnasts. Colleges could provide a popular sport (which might serve as a student recruitment tool) at a very reasonable cost, not have to pay for equipping and maintaining an expensive facility and field a well-coached team.
The “Best” Solution for Everyone
We understand that this is an entirely new concept that may require quite a bit of explanation and negotiation, but since it provides benefits to all concerned, it is certainly a deal that could be made. Don’t forget you heard the privatization solution first here at GymnasticsZone.com and that no other successful solution has been widely effective. We are available as consultants to help implement this program and we hope that the “Elitest” coaches and programs in each college and University area start to negotiate and implement the privatization concept right away.
15 Books and Counting
John Howard is the author of 15 books and e-Books about gymnastics, gym design, gymnastics humor and cheerleading. More books are already on the way. He has 25 years experience and has coached State, Regional and National champion gymnasts, international competitors and cheerleaders at the National level in NCAA Division I.
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