According to the NCAA, cheerleading is not an intercollegiate sport, at least not the kind that warrants scholarships. The University of Maryland, however, is currently testing that tenet. To expedite compliance with the equal opportunity mandates of Title IX — and to save some men’s scholarships — UM has promoted part of its cheerleading squad to varsity status this year.
It might be that UM has happened upon a new model to satisfy the Byzantine requirements of the gender-equity gendarmes. Or it might be that the NCAA will see it as an impermissible ruse to skirt the original intent of Title IX.
Would that cheerleaders could be acknowledged for what they are. Being gymnastically athletic is a bonus. Being a babe is a must. It’s not cheerleading; it’s cheer providing.