FIU Picks Football Team Over Cheerleaders


Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, like so many colleges and universities these days, has been experiencing financial difficulties. As part of their plan to reign in costs, the university is cutting back by laying off staff, trimming its academic offerings while also eliminating the university’s cheerleading team and marching band. Yes, the school that only began playing Division 1 football in 2002 and has one of the worst won-loss records of all won’t be having the two most important crowd cheering programs in attendance for its games this year.

Cheerleaders Ranked Fourth In The Nation

The cut to the FIU cheerleading programs is perhaps the biggest surprise given that cheerleading is the one sport program at the university with a consistent and proven track record.. While the football team tries to show its prowess on the gridiron, the cheerleaders have been racking up awards and are currently ranked #4 in the nation among small coed Division 1-A programs.

According to the Beacon, the student newspaper for FIU, the cuts to the cheerleading program are part of a one million dollar hit to the university’s athletic budget. The school says that they will save $78,000 by axing the cheerleaders while the program’s director says that figure is closer to $25,000. Curiously, the university plans to keep the school’s Golden Dazzler dance squad in place, a team of jazz and hip hop dancers who will be seen at upcoming FIU games instead of the cheerleaders.

Even when the cheerleading coach, Maria George, offered to coach for free, FIU turned her down citing that expenses would still be incurred with running the program. George added that several FIU bound students chose the school for its cheerleading program and might end up going elsewhere as their athletic program closes.

Fundraising And Sponsorship Sought

There is a slim chance that the cheerleading program might be restored if the fundraising efforts now underway by students raises enough money to fund the cheerleaders. FIU officials say that recurring sponsorship of the cheerleaders would help their cause, emphasizing “recurring” so that the program won’t be jeopardized again next year.

Source: Beacon News, FIU

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Categories: Collegiate Sports