There is no precedent for this gaffe in NCAA women's gymnastics, says Nancy Latimore, NCAA assistant director of championships.
The only thing that comes close, she says, and she admits it's not very similar, was an incident in the 1983 NCAA Championships - ironically held at Utah and involving Alabama.The competition number of a Cal State-Fullerton gymnast, pinned to her back, caught on the balance beam, causing a fall. She was awarded a reride after the meet and scored higher, and Fullerton took the third-place trophy over Alabama by .2 point.
Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson appealed, and it was turned down.
"This has happened twice - once for us and once against us," says Patterson. "I always accepted what the committee said. I appealed on the floor at the meet, and the committee decided the meet referee's decision stood. Eighty-three was wrong, and I accepted it. No one offered to give me a third-place trophy," Patterson says.
- Linda Hamilton