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Cheerleading to Become a Sport? Bet on It

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
Jul/12/2009
Cheerleading Sport

Soon you might be able to bet on a new sports:  Cheerleading.

The St. Petersburg Times broke the story this weekend that a Florida-based group was attempting to have Cheerleading classified as a sport, and presumably cheerleaders would be viewed as athletes.

The clash began in April after football and cheerleading were exempt from FHSAA scheduling cuts, which the FHSAA thought would comply with Title IX. But Florida Parents for Athletic Equity argued there were far fewer cheerleading competitions and competitors, thus disparate treatment.

Numbers released Thursday by the FHSAA show opportunities for girls (5,522 for cheerleading) were far fewer than those for boys (40,456 for football). Eight girls played football in 2008, an increase from three the previous year. Meanwhile, 115 boys participated in cheerleading, which fell by almost half from the previous year.

"I have no idea why they (FHSAA) picked cheerleading," said Leslie Goller, a member of the legal team representing the parents group. "Someone gave them bad advice or no advice. The numbers don't add up.

"Cheerleading can be a sport. The problem is the way it's treated in Florida it can't function as a sport."

Varsity football is a sanctioned sport and considered by many to be a revenue trough to nourish other programs. Cheerleading is a recognized sport, which basically means less regulation.

Years ago, Gambling911.com broke the mold by being the first electronic media outlet to hire professional cheerleaders as sports reporters, including Lisa Perry, a former Captain of the Indianapolis Colts who later appeared in Playboy.

Tyrone Darnell Black, Gambling911.com 

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