as athletes without perks
By Jennifer Casper
The cheerleaders at UNCP work hard to boost the spirit of the Braves, but as hard as they work, they aren’t considered equal to other sports on campus such as the football and basketball teams.
Cheerleaders Amber Moore and Nikki Odom said they want their organization to be considered equal to others on campus.
“UNCP Cheerleading is not considered a sport on campus, but a spirit squad and we would like to change that,” Odom said.
Moore said that even though the cheerleaders are not considered a sport they still have to follow the rules like other sports do on campus in order to participate on the team.
The cheerleaders have to maintain an overall grade point average of 2.0 or better, must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University and take random drug tests.
Because Cheerleaders are not recognized as a sport by the NCAA, they can’t get scholarships and free tickets to athletic events for their families which is a requirement for football players under NCAA regulations.
Chair of the SGA Student Issues Committee Hannah Simpson said that SGA is trying to have an endowment scholarship for the cheerleaders, but the issue is being further looked into.
Simpson said the cheerleaders do not receive funds to participate in competitions other than the Peachbelt.
“The SGA is working with the Cheerleading squad to try and supply funds for future cheerleading competitions,” Simpson said.