N.M. could end cheer competition over sportsmanship problems

April 18, 2019 /
New Mexico’s athletic association next month will consider ending the state’s cheerleading competition due to rampant sportsmanship issues that have included death threats.

cheerleading trophies
Photo: Foxcroft Academy, Flickr

Sally Marquez, executive director of the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), said cancelling the event is just one option the governing board will consider. At least one cheer coach told the Albuquerque Journal he would like to see the NMAA punish individual schools instead of all competitors statewide.

According to the newspaper, officials said a death threat was made last month against two people helping the state association with the event. It was unclear whether a report was filed with police or if they identified the person making the threat.

From the article:

“Right now, spirit is not abiding by what we believe are education-based athletics,” Marquez said. “This year was probably the worst out of all of them.” Various parents, athletes, coaches and other outside parties all are contributing to an inappropriate social media presence, Marquez said.

The state competition, which encompasses female cheer, co-ed cheer and dance, is the third-largest money-making postseason event on the high school calendar, after basketball and football. This year’s competition featured 106 dance and cheer squads, and approximately 2,000 athletes.

Read more from the Albuquerque Journal

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