Reader Response: Gymnastics

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In our recent discussion about the Pac-10 reaching 400 NCAA championships, we noted that USC now has 115 national championships, but they are all not recognized by the NCAA, which prompted a reader to ask about the Trojans' forgotten champ.

Gymnastics893.jpg"I remember seeing in Heritage hall, in the room with all the championships on the wall (Varsity Lounge)... that we won men's gymnastics a looooong time ago... always wondered why they got rid of it." - Michael

USC had a men's gymnsatics program up until 1981 when it was disbanded for financial reasons.  Women's gymnastics started up in 1976, but lasted only through the 1986 season.

"For the past several years, USC's athletic department has experienced a net operating loss," then athletic director Mike McGee said in a 1986 statement. "Several sports--including women's gymnastics--have therefore been made responsible for developing additional funding. Women's gymnastics was not able to develop a substantial level of financial support."

Click here for the archived LA Times article.

The only gymnastics heritage that survives is the 1962 men's gymnastics national championship.  The squad was led by Robert Lynn who won four gold medals including the all-around at the NCAA finals.

You can click on the AP article to the right to make it full size.

1 Comment

USC needs to revive the men's and women's gymnastics teams, which ended in the 1980s because of finances. USC is a much improved institution today and can and needs to fund this prestigious sport. If Stanford and Cal and Washington can maintain gymnastics, so can USC. Fielding USC gymnastics teams in the Pac-12 will invigorate the sport, add to its prestige and provide a home for academically accomplished students to engage in a non-contact sport. It's time to see USC gymnasts return to the Olympics as well.

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