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Cheerleading expert: It's not a competitive sport

Published: Tuesday, June 22 2010 9:19 p.m. MDT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — An expert in cheerleading has testified that cheerleading should not be a competitive sport, saying that making it so would threaten "classical sideline cheerleading."

Jeff Webb, CEO of the cheerleading organization Varsity Spirit, testified Tuesday in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., in a lawsuit against Quinnipiac (KWIN'-ih-pee-ak) University. Five volleyball players sued after the school decided in a budgetary move to eliminate women's volleyball in favor of a competitive cheer squad.

Testifying for the players, Webb said competitive cheerleading is as much a sport as chess.

A federal judge is being asked in part to decide whether cheerleading can be counted as a sport by schools looking for ways to meet gender-equity requirements. He's also considering whether Quinnipiac improperly manipulates the size of the rosters to comply with those requirements.

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