Gymnastics back-flips to raise interest

By Blythe Lawrence

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, May 29 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

But most believe something needs to be done. The Super Six final at the 2009 NCAA Championship in Nebraska drew a record-low 2,949 fans, more than 6,000 fewer than the previous low of 9,078 in 1989.

Of more than 170 programs that existed when the NCAA first instituted Division I gymnastics championships in 1982, fewer than half remain. Citing budget shortfalls, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology eliminated men's and women's gymnastics and a handful of other sports last month. Cal State Fullerton has announced that its program needs to raise several thousand dollars or it will be cut as well.

The more reason to implement these policies soon, Arizona State coach John Spini said.

"(It's) what we need to do in our economic times," he added. "We don't have a bailout."

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