Saying it was a decision that “was not made lightly,” University of Florida (UF) administrators told cheerleaders at the school that they would no longer be able to perform acrobatic stunts or tumbles during games. The announcement came just one day before the last home football game.
Some cheerleaders on the UF squad attributed the decision to an Orlando Magic cheerleading accident that occurred three days before the announcement was made. During the Magic game, a cheerleader lost her footing while standing on a teammate’s shoulders and crashed on to the court. She suffered three fractured vertebrae and a broken rib.
A spokesman for the UF athletic association defended the decision. In an email statement sent to the Gainesville Sun, he stated, “Instead of waiting for a tragedy to occur, we are taking a proactive stance to protect cheerleaders, who represent the University of Florida with enthusiasm and class, and allow them to lead cheers at Gator games for years to come.”
Predictably, the decision was not popular among UF cheerleaders, who went on Twitter to voice their displeasure. One tweeted, “UF cheerleaders are no longer allowed to stunt and tumble … we aren’t a real sport now we are too dangerous?”.
In October the American Academy of Pediatricians released a study that found cheerleaders are at a disproportionally high risk for skull fractures and spine injuries. Researchers reported that cheerleading-related hospital visits jumped 400 percent from 1980 to 2007.
It is a school or institution’s duty to keep students safe from injury. If a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury due to a cheerleading accident, they may be entitled to compensation for hospital bills, rehabilitation, and other damages. The Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Farah & Farah are here to help you in the pursuit of your legal rights. When you need solid and experienced legal representation, contact us online or call (800) 533-3555.