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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cheerleading, Sport or Activity?

Which team at the University of Kentucky has won more national championships than any other?  The answer is the cheerleading team, and it’s not even close.  The squad has won 16 national titles since 1985.  Since 1995, the team has won 14 championships and finished 2nd another 3 times, meaning they have been a Top 2 national squard every year since 1995.  It’s an amazing streak, and I think the UK fanbase really respects and loves the team. 

But, the question was bounced around the sports office yesterday about whether or not you consider the cheerleaders a SPORTS team.  It was a split room, comprised of mostly men and 2 women.  Those in favor of cheerleading as a sport point to the skill and athleticism of the squads, plus the national competitions that take place.  Those against argue that the main point of cheerleaders is simply to rouse a crowd and not compete, plus many of the things they do is not athletic, but simply cheering.  The argument got passionate, and for once in my life, I tried to stay un-opinionated. 

But, let’s look at it rationally.  Wikipedia describes cheerleading as:

“Cheerleading is a physical activity, sometimes a competitive sport, based on organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, which contain the components of tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games or to participate in competitions.”

OK, so that definition was neutral.  It calls it an activity, but then states it is sometimes competitive.  My initial thought was that a sport should be a sport AT ALL TIMES.  Every time I step on the golf course or basketball court, I am playing a sport.  Cheerleading is only a sport at times.  That raised a red flag in my mind.  But again, I couldn’t get past the elite level of athleticism used in their routines, even if the routines and competition are just 25% of a cheerleaders responsibilities. 

But then, on that same wikipedia page, it states that cheerleading was actually started as an all-male activity to try and organize crowds in cheer.  Now it certainly has changed over the last 100 years, with halftime routines and more high action stunts.  But, I wonder if some of our common sports were ever actually started as something that wasn’t a sport.  Swimming might be the only one I can think of quickly. 

But I will tell you what finally pushed me towards my final opinion.  The UK Athletics website does not list cheerleading under its sports category.  Instead, it lists cheerleading under the “TRADITIONS” category.  Why did UK do this?  I would guess its because cheerleading is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport.  In fact, there are tons of stories on the website about different competitions the cheer squad has been involved with.  But, if they are truly a sport, why not list them as such.  Even if the NCAA doesn’t sanction it, do they have power over the athletic website?  I don’t think so. 

Let me say this:  Cheerleading at the UK level is an unbelievably elite skill.  They do things that I would be terrified to attempt, much less accomplish.  And they certainly have become as much of the basketball program as Rupp Arena.  Plus, all those titles are nice to brag about.  I give them tons and tons of credit.  In much of the same way a cheerleader can not dunk a basketball, a UK basketball player can not do the tumbling routines that cheerleaders do.

That being said, I have to lean towards the side of non-sport.  It was not meant to be a sport, and despite the fact their are competitions now, that is not the MAIN job of a cheerleader.  The main job of a cheerleader is doing something that is not a sport, and that is organizing cheers for the crowd and getting the fans pumped.  And like I said earlier, if the UK website doesn’t list it as a sport, I don’t know how I can.  For those who disagree, talk me off my opinion.  This is one of those I don’t feel strongly on, so I can be convinced.  Have at it.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

76 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cheerleading, Sport or Activity?



  1. Crush little red
    9:13 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Last yr, my daughter started competitive cheer. Training started in may, nationals were this yr in April. She’s five. They don’t have a team to cheer for, just a routine. It is a sport.



  2. Bryan the Intern
    9:13 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    1) Bye.



  3. iWantToGrowUpToBeTheDrewFranklin
    9:14 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Your first mistake? Using a definition from Wikipedia, or using wikipedia at all for that matter. Didn’t they teach you anything in school?

    Not a sport.



  4. Justlew
    9:14 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Cheerleading is a choreographed art, not a sport. The best way to distinguish is that the winner is judged, not determined by direct competition. The only sport where a judge determines the winner is boxing (maybe diving or something too) and that has specific criteria that the boxer has a direct impact on in competition. Cheering has a criteria, but much of it is based on opinion.

    Golf is not a sport either, it is a game. That is also a great conversation to get into. Ping Pong- sport or game? Bowling?



  5. Grammar King
    9:16 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I think Wikipedia has it right. By definition and title, cheerleading is an activity that supplements and supports the entertainment of a sport; cheerleading in itself is not a sport. However, when the activity of cheerleading is performed for its own sake and for competition, it does become a sport.



  6. Justlew
    9:17 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    They should allow the other squads to try to interupt or disturb the team performing, then there would have to be defense and it would be closer to a sport. Plus cheerleaders would be fighting, and that would be awesome.



  7. Pabloco
    9:17 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    There is an episode of Penn&Teller’s “Bullsh&T” that addresses this. Much ado about Title IX and control by cheerleading organizations. And, yes, I vote sport. No matter the beginning, it has grown beyond just crowd excitement.



  8. Crush little red
    9:17 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    5) what about gymnastics? That’s a judged winner



  9. Big Blue Greenie
    9:20 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Talk you off what, Pop-Pop?



  10. B
    9:22 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I put this is the last posts comments but just for people to know

    Ticketmaster just changed the ticket sale dates:

    Onsale to General Public

    Start: Mon, 08/01/11 10:00 AM EDT
    FIL PRESALE

    Start: Fri, 07/29/11 10:00 AM EDT
    End: Sun, 07/31/11 10:00 PM EDT



  11. Aebly
    9:24 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Not a sport, but athletes.



  12. Seriously
    9:24 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I could go on Wikipedia and change the definition if you’d like. Wikipedia is the worse possible source you could use. I love BTI but this post is horrendous



  13. KSR Spy
    9:24 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    IT’S NOT A SPORT!!

    Cheerleading exists to support A SPORT. If there was no football/basketball/etc there would be no cheerleading.

    Saying Cheerleading is a sport is like saying that “IF” they had national water boy competitions that tested speed/efficiency/PH level modification that being a “waterboy” would be considered a sport. Anything that exists EXCLUSIVELY to support a sport, is in and of itself, NOT A SPORT.



  14. Pabloco
    9:25 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    5)…and figure skating. We could cut the Olympics in half if you got rid of judged competition.



  15. PolsonForThree(Minutes)
    9:30 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Personal opinion but anything based on opinion, like cheerleading is not a sport. It is very competitive, athletic, and extremely tough, but you don’t score points, and it is subjective as to who wins. Sports are objective with clear winners, not based on judge’s opinions.



  16. Ridiculous
    9:30 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Did you watch that video that is some crazy flipping and what not. Still not a sport.



  17. W
    9:30 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    More interesting to me is that while Wikipedia says cheerleading is sometimes a sport, the page on competitive eating reads, “competitive eating, or speed eating, is a sport…” No question there?



  18. Al's Indycats
    9:31 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Well if you want to define the word sport then you cannot include “Cheerleading”. But let us all remember that at one time basketball wasn’t concidered a “sport” at first. It was a manner of fitness to be played in doors while there was two feet of snow on the ground.
    If it’s not concidered a sport, it very well should be.



  19. Grammar King
    9:31 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    15) Exactly. It’s not a sport when it is supporting another sport. But when you have national competitions to see what cheerleading squad can perform the best routine, nobody’s talking about how well that routine is supporting the invisible basketball or football team. They’re competing in a very athletically challending cheerleading competition. When cheerleading began it was not a sport; it sometimes is a sport now.



  20. Jones Returns
    9:31 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    If they’ll just drop the 1950’s giddy-up and wear some uniforms like Oregon’s or UCLA’s girls do I’ll call them whatever in the hell they want to be called…



  21. Yes Sir
    9:33 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    21…I’m with you…those Nike uniforms make me Rise indeed



  22. Catfangreenup
    9:34 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Two questions.
    1) Do they offer scholarships to the cheerleaders?
    2) Are said scholarships if they exist athletic scholarships?
    If they are receiving scholarships for cheering and are categorized as athletic scholarships then UK considers it a sport.



  23. cory
    9:41 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I have heard a few arguments that schools don’t include cheerleading as a “sport” in their systems due to insurance reasons. There are tons of injuries in the competitive cheerleading world, you can imagine what injuries are possible with the flipping and jumping. The insurance and money to fund all of the travel and competitions is tremendous, and schools can dodge those costs by not including them in the “sports” category.

    The same ideology applies towards water sports and alternative sports like skateboarding, bmx, wakeboarding/waterskiing, etc. There are tons of competitive school clubs for these activities, but schools wont pick them up as sports due to the liabilities involved.



  24. Btisucks
    9:44 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    16) Does boxing always have a decisive winner or do they have to use the judges scorecard to determine the winner. And I’m pretty sure everyone considers boxing a sport.



  25. Jessdogky
    9:45 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    23 – Yes they get scholarships. Not sure if they are athletic or not. But the band also gets some(not enough) money from the Athletic budget and it’s not a sport.



  26. DRUNK Chick
    9:47 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    If cals recruits went against tubbys recruits who would win in a four on four game in that nba roster?



  27. Czar of Daycares
    9:51 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I think bashing BTI is becoming a sport on here, unfortunately. Probably more of a sport than cheerleading.



  28. ATB (Always True Blue)
    9:56 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Definitely a sport. No doubt. Look at 24’s comment and I agree. If you consider the competitive aspects your only criteria, then chess would be a sport. Dictionary.com defines a sport as: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

    Does it meet the criteria? Definitely atheletic, definitely physical (moreso than fishing), and definitely competitive in nature.

    If the NCAA doesn’t recognize it who cares, they don’t recognize MMA but you can’t tell me that is not a sport (also what about pickup games and exhibition games, those are not taken seriously and in my opinion are not competitive at all, you have to try to be competitive). I loved the topic by the way and I have never been a cheerleader in my life, for real. Go ahead and make fun of me now.



  29. Steven
    9:56 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t think any sport that is settled on judging can be taken too seriously. Figure skating is as much about the costumes and makeup as it is about athletic comp. Skateboarding, Gymnastics, all those things that are decided on someones opinion are in a different category. Maybe the Russian judge is biased or someone is ugly but clearly more skilled, happens all the time. Nancy Kerrigan got pitty points because we felt sad after her attack. Unless there is a scoreboard, a race to the finish, I don’t consider it to be true competion.



  30. 44 Stitches
    9:58 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    It’s not a sport when they are cheering at games. When they have competition’s it’s a sport then because they have competition. There competition then is based off there routine which uses atheletic ability.

    Either way cheerleaders have never scored or put a single point on a scoreboard. Cheerleaders are still 100 times better than the worthless band losers.



  31. PolsonForThree(Minutes)
    9:59 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    25 – Boxing can have a clear winner by knock out, cheerleading cannot. Is boxing a sport? Just because something is athletic doesn’t make it a sport.



  32. Steven
    10:00 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I prefer the Dance Team over the Cheerleaders and about half of them end up working at the strip club which is quite nice.



  33. Tampa Amy
    10:00 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    23: yes – they do offer scholarships. UK is one of only a few schools that offer.
    I was a cheerleader growing up, and it was a mix of competition and team support – I felt that we were not much of a sport no matter what we did in competition because the level of athleticism was just not there. While at UK, I befriended many on the squad and would work out/practice with them on their own time – the athleticism and competitive nature of UK Cheer shows they are clearly a sports team. The fact that they also act as ambassadors of UK, promoting the university in many capacities is on par with other UK sports teams AND clubs/groups. However, there are many universities and colleges that are not at this level and really only do the team support aspect of cheerleading – hence, I would not consider them a sports team. And in regards to insurance/injuries, you wouldn’t believe how bad it can get. I believe it was in the 80’s when a UK cheerleader became paralyzed after falling from a pyramid (maybe a botched dismount) – it changed the game tremendously in regards to safety requirements and practices.

    I think it all comes down to what the level of the squad is and how the university uses them. At UK and other high profile schools, it should be considered a sport. At others, not so much. It’s very hard to make a clear cut definition on cheerleading = sport when it is so diverse among the participants. Many are ex gymnasts, football players, etc… that comprise cheer teams, so they would certainly consider themselves an athlete who compete in a sport.



  34. Toss It
    10:02 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Tons of respect for their physical abilities and toughness, but not a sport. Just ask Title IX.



  35. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:06 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Here is why fans of Men’s sports should SUPPORT cheerleading as a sport:

    1. Under Title IX, an institution must have equality in Men and Women’s sports. Although this does not exactly mean the same number of men and women’s teams, that’s the direction it’s heading. Proponents of Title IX are pushing the trend for not only the same number of teams, but expending a proportionate amount of money for both men and women’s teams.

    2. Men’s teams are getting cut. With the requirement of the same number of men’s and women’s teams (and Men having more sports, including football), men’s sports are getting cut. This is the reason why large institutions often have to cut one or more men’s teams such as hockey, golf, lacross, wrestling, etc.

    3. Less money for men’s sports. With the trend in Title IX to spend a proportionate amount per student athlete, a women’s wrestler is essentially entitled to the same amount of scholarship dollars as say a men’s golfer, lacrosse player, or even basketball player. Since golf and lacrosse are inherently more expensive than wrestling, that means less dollars for the male teams. Although I don’t see the women’s bball team moving into wildcat lodge anytime soon, equality is the idea.

    So, although Title IX is a good thing because it requires equality, Cheerleading should be included. If cheerleading is a sport, that’s one more women’s sport on the board (since CL teams are mainly female), allowing one more men’s sport to stick around. So if you’re a proponent of men’s sports and more money for your basketball team, the next time someone asks you is cheerleading a sport you should say, “Hell yes it is!” Plus, those girls are pretty athletic.



  36. Cristoforouk
    10:06 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Cheerleading is more of a sport than baseball or golf. Both of those are WAY more of a skill than a sport. At least you have to be pretty athletic to be a high level cheerleader. You do not to be an elite baseball player or golfer.



  37. tavius the unworldly
    10:07 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I dont think its a sport for the reason a competition is judged on who wins by a judges opinion of scoring. Rather than out playing the other squad.



  38. Nutwrap
    10:10 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    I think cheerleading bounces back and forth between sport and non sport. When they are competing, it most definitely is a sport, when they are supporting, it is definitely not a sport. These men and women are tremendous ATHLETES, but athletics and sports aren’t necessarily bound together as one.

    BTI: You need to define what you consider a sport.

    For me, a sport has to require extreme physical exertion from the most Athletic players (but it doesn’t have to be constant). There are other criteria I have as well, but that is the main one and the one that reinforces my above statement that cheerleading bounces back and forth.

    Here is a short list of of what I consider sports and non sports, feel free to debate:

    Sports: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Baseball, Soccer, Volleyball, Swimming, Track & Field, Weightlifting, Dancing, Skating, Competition Cheerleading

    Non Sports: Poker, Spelling Bee, Supportive Cheerleading, Chess, Competitive Shooting (Rifle, Shotgun, etc), Pool, Darts

    On the Fence:
    1. Golf/Bowling-There is physical exertion involved, but is it extreme enough?
    2. Racing-Turning left all day at a gazillion miles a second can be tiresome if you do it all day, plus it’s really hot in there, but is that enough to warrant a sport?
    3. Curling-Housework can be tiring….that’s why I let the wife do it.



  39. HeatSeekingMouse
    10:12 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Just had to drop in and express my sincere ambivalence.



  40. OZ
    10:19 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    It should be a sport even though judged the same as boxing, diving, gymnastics, ice skating, free-style skiing, free-style skateboarding, snowboarding events, bicycle or motorcycle stunts and/or jumping. There role as athletics become independent of the sports of basketball and football in separate cheerleading competitions. If it helps get them better insurance coverage from the school for a “sport” or a “competition” to help stucents like the male cheerleader paralyzed more than 10 – 20 years ago then I support it. He endured an physical impact harder in his athletic competition than I was ever hit in football.



  41. Mt. Washington Mike
    10:25 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    My daughter is in year 3 of competitive cheerleading. She is in middle school. There are regional, State, and National competitions. Our school goes to all of them.They work their butts off doing what they do. They work out 5 and 6 days a week. It takes athletic skill and strength to perform the stunts they do. As for scoring they are not just judged. They do score points for difficulty and can lose points for mistakes. I did not think it was a sport either until I started attending the competitions. Now that I understand it better. I do believe it is a sport. It’s not just rah rah rah.



  42. Juan4UK
    10:33 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Absolutely a sport. There are two separate forms of cheerleading. At games the squad performs traditional duties, getting the crowd going. Then there is competitive cheer. Competitive cheer is what most of their focus is on. Probably 75%. And every one of those Cheerleaders ate more athletic and fit than any baseball players. So, u need to take that into account when answering that.



  43. RahRahFootball
    10:33 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Let me start out by saying that I was a second team all-state linebacker in 2003 and all-area defensive player of the year. I was also a cheerleader for 2 years in high school. Only did it at basketball games and competitions. Cheerleading is a sport. There were times when it was more physical then football was.



  44. Juan4UK
    10:35 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Also scoring, the Olympics, are full of subjective based scoring.



  45. JEREMY
    10:36 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    If a hot lil cheerleader is asking me, then its a serious sport that i have so much respect for… But between us guys its a activity and just something good to look at!



  46. Donald Trump
    10:37 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    BTI you are FIRED AGAIN!



  47. hoptownsbeast
    10:45 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Not just anyone can be a cheerleader. It takes ATHLETICISM! The flips and dancing is amazing!



  48. Dale Scudder
    11:10 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Chearleading requires a LOT of athletic ability. I think everyone agrees to that.

    But my personal opinion is that anything that must be “judged” to determine a winner (diving, gymnastics, etc) is more of an art than a sport. It may be an athletic-based art, but it’s still an art.

    I don’t mean that as an insult to any of those sports, but there is a huge different between being “judged” subjectively to have done something the smoothest, most graceful, etc and a sport in which there is an objective measurement of victory.



  49. BBNBJ
    11:10 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    if it has to be judged, it is a sport. subjective scoring can’t be in a sport because there’s not enough reliability or credibility. is cheerleading tough and extremely athletic? absolutely. but it’s not a sport.



  50. BB
    11:11 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    First, I don’t care. Second, sport is defined as participating in a competitive event (regardless of whether it is subjectively or objectively scored) and therefore is a sport. Cheerleaders are without doubt participating in events that require a tremendous amount of athleticism and competition. As a side note, according to national statistics, at the youth/high school level, cheerleading leads to more injuries than any sport (including football).



  51. slicky ricky
    11:21 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    are women involved? then no its not a sport. listen 1937 called and said get back in the kitchen and make me some biscuits!



  52. tom
    11:31 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Cheerleading does exist to support a sport however because of its own national organization and national competition with established rules it IS a sport. Hell, its more of a sport than archery.

    The real argument is: are horse and auto racing sports? Are riding and driving sports?



  53. BB
    11:35 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    good point, Tom.



  54. Charlie Sheen
    11:49 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    #notwinning



  55. EDM
    11:58 am July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Pretty sure you’re gonna see a UK cheerleader sink a birdie and bowl a strike before you’ll see your average professional golfer or bowler do a round off back handspring. Cheerleading has changed considerably over the years just as other sports have. What was once an activity has transitioned into a sport. I’ve cheered, played golf, bowled, shot a little bow and arrow, fished. I drank while participating in the latter four. Had I consumed alcohol while cheering someone would possibly have been seriously injured or even killed. (Okay, it’s a good possibility with archery, too.)
    I think instead of saying it “is” this and “isn’t” this we should move along into the present and come to the agreement that it can be an art and a sport and an activity and, yes, “something good to look at.”



  56. EDM
    12:02 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Also @Dale Scudder…if you think refereeing can’t be subjective, well, you might want to revisit that thought.



  57. Bledsoe's Biceps
    12:17 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Great gymnasts and athletics involved, but it is not a sport. They have occasional competitions, but that is secondary to their primary purpose. Hell, there are hot dog eating contests too, so is eating a hot dog a sport?



  58. Joe
    12:43 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Cheerleading is to basketball and football what fries are to a burger, no one goes to a restaurant for the fries, they go for the burger and its just kindof implied the fries will be there



  59. Chief McHeath
    12:53 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    It’s an “athletic competition.” Track and field events are “athletic competition.” Hockey, baseball, basketball, freaking cricket, are “sports” because there is defense. To be a real sport there has to be defense. Bowling and throwing darts are neither, they are “leisure games.”



  60. Mt. Washington Mike
    2:16 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Where is the defense in Golf? You can’t even take a picture during a swing. Where is the defense in gymnastics? Where is the defense in swimming and diving? etc.



  61. ribin
    2:33 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    A part time sport? – “every time I step on a golf course” – (swing athletically @ 75+ times – depending on skill level – rest of the time you are either ‘walking’, ‘standing quietly’, or ‘getting in/out of a cart’) – comparing that to being tossed/tossing a person in the air, catching them, having them stand on one hand – doing back flips, etc – which one is a ‘real sport’?.



  62. awesometron
    3:03 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    my favorite part is when they cheered



  63. Seriously
    3:26 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Something being a sport and doing something for sport are two entirely different things.



  64. TugItErday
    3:41 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Its a sport. They practice/work out every day. If it was just cheering at games, then hell no.



  65. frizzle
    4:05 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    And against the judged argument, they have routines that are awarded (or deducted) points based on difficulty and execution. So it’s not simply subjective appreciation by judges. Like diving and gymnastics, they have to execute – not just entertain.

    And boxing judges’ scorecards rarely ever match. So even punches and defense are subjective.

    So I say a competitive sport. Moreso than golf.



  66. Glacier
    4:13 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    #59 so according to your logic fries are not food?



  67. Joe Doakes
    4:40 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Who’s won the cheerleading championships the other times of the 2nd place finishes?



  68. Monstermash
    5:38 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Who cares? The girls are hot and the guys are just roided out pansies that are too uncoordinated to play any real sport.



  69. Dane Brammage
    6:41 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    SPORT. Damn son! The only cooler athletes (female) on campus are the Gymnasts. If your girlfriend was a Cheerleader, you were the dude. If your girlfriend was a Gymnast, you were the man!



  70. ukcat1
    8:39 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    It does not matter what you call it. The University of Kentucky or UKAA has decided that cheerleading is an important competitive organization. Sorry lusting males but you just have to look at our female cheerleaders to see that UK went from the Barnstable twins look in the 70s to the athletic child like look world class gymnasts. The went out and recruit nationally strong gymnastic males to improve the squad. They give scholarships to most if not all of the primary squad. Unlike in baskeball the banners at Rupp for cheerleading do not list the second place finshes they have had in recent years. Also, UK does not allow the team members to do the individual competitions because it might take away from the team. Don’t get tied up in title, just look at how UK has supported cheerleading to mold it into its current form!



  71. ukcat1
    9:24 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Now I want to defend the band. The present Marching band director is trying hard to improve the band. What did UK do this year; they cut his budget about 20%. The WMB depends on students other than music majors. Keeping experienced people is important for improvement and its hard to do so. They come back to school early, practice long hours abour 10 days before school starts and then practice about 10 hrs per week during the season. The flags and twirlers practice much more. Other schools in the SEC gives each band member $1000(Vandy& LSU for example) stipend per season for being in the marching band. UK band members have to buy their own marching shoes and practice tee shirts. Georgia has a featured twirler on scholarship that has won/or finshed in the top 3 in most of the major world baton competitions for the last several years. UK Twirlers have to buy the majority of their own uniforms and I do not know about the flags. The twirlers are not even given their warm up suits which I am sure that UK could get free along with the band tee shirts free under their Nike contract. I understand (but am not 100% sure) that UK is not sending the entire WMB to the neutral site football game in Nashville. If UK wanted to allocate the resources to the band the way they did the cheerleaders, we would have a world class band.



  72. oldkentucky
    9:25 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    It is a sport. The NCAA is stupid.



  73. TrueBlueFan4Ever
    9:38 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Without question.



  74. alwaysacat
    10:40 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Considering how sensible the NCAA is in all other areas of sports, I can’t see what their recognition has anything to do with whether or not something is a sport or not. Regardless, what you see cheerleaders do on the sidelines most definitely isn’t a sport. Regardless of that, let’s be real, that’s not what UK’s cheerleaders get full athletic scholarships to UK for. Their competitions are really what they are here for and that is most definitely a competition and most definitely a sport. Anyone who knows a cheerleader will hear about training camps, two-a-days, and just as demanding training schedule as just about any other athlete (on UK’s campus at least). I guess with the exception of putting it on the athletics website, it is treated as much like a sport by the university as anything else, especially in the athletic scholarship field



  75. tranetech
    11:16 pm July 28, 2011 Permalink

    Cheerleading is definately a sport when done the way our UK squad does it. On that same note, I would very much like to see KSR lead the charge to do something about the most disgraceful banner in RUPP. The chearleading championship banner is so small you can’t read the years on it. That banner needs to cover the entire upper end wall and give those former and current kids the recognition they deserve.



  76. Tokyo Satchel
    7:49 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Webster’s Dictionary’s first definition of sport is “A source of diversion.” so I guess some here feel they can redefine the English language to support their assertions. Heerleading is a sport, even on the sidelines. They have cheerleading competitions too.