Saw this over at The Dagger yesterday. UConn is going to disband their cheerleading squad, replacing them with a "spirit squad."
On the surface, this doesn't really sound all that different. I mean, cheerleaders have spirit, right? Well, at least spirit fingers.
But take a look at what UConn has planned for their "spirit squad" (from the Hartford Courant):
Christine Wilson, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of student activities, said the change was made because "we want people formerly called cheerleaders to focus in on building spirit at UConn, on spending time working on ways to engage fans and to really spread Husky spirit" rather than spend hours perfecting stunts. The 24 recently selected spirit squad members — men and women — will wear outfits similar to those of the cheerleaders, Wilson said, but will spend time in the "tailgating areas handing out spirit buttons and other kinds of spirit supplies," and will focus on timeout, sideline and in-the-stand cheers that are fan-interactive.That sucks.
And not just because cheerleaders are hot. There are plenty of dimes at UConn that you could throw a uniform on to help spread "Husky spirit".
No, what sucks is that fans at Gampel Pavilion and the XL Center will no longer be privy to the impressive acrobatics, athleticism, and stunts performed by cheerleaders during timeouts. Seriously, how many of you are willing to stand with one foot on someone's hand eight feet in the air or get tossed even higher with just one person there to catch you? How many of you would get on the top of a six person human pyramid? How many of you can do flips the entire length of a basketball court?
While cheerleading may be a joke to some people, it is an art that these girls (and guys) work incredibly hard at perfecting. Most cheerleaders at schools like UConn choose a college with the intention of making that team.
It is the equivalent of disbanding a sports team and saying "hey, we're just gonna have a really, really good intramurals program."
For shame UConn, for shame.