“While the Olympics are the gold standard it is the NCAA Championships that have been the ultimate microcosm of the human condition.” – JD Reive, Head Coach, University of Iowa Men’s Gymnastics

On August 21, the University of Iowa in consultation with the Board of Regents announced the decision to discontinue four varsity sports programs including men’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis.

Click here for the link to the Open Letter from President Bruce Harrold and Athletic Director Gary Barta.

Iowa Head Coach JD Reive shares what the devastating loss of their men’s gymnastics program after the 2020-21 academic year means for the sport, the athletes and the Hawkeyes athletic community. This statement also appears in the September issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine.

I am grieving a loss that resonates through my entire life. The esoteric sport of men’s gymnastics in the US has been the collateral damage of evolving athletic departments for decades. We epitomize the student-athlete concept that I fear is failing to survive, the latest culprit being a pandemic. I lament for every gymnast that trained in the Field House North Gym for the past century and all those who aspired to do so in the future. I am crushed under the heavy reality that this may launch a mortifying finality to the entire sport. I do this because of a passion for gymnastics, but there is so much more. The logo on the front of your jersey is more important than the name on the back. 

There is a truth in competitive amateur Olympic sports that is an intrinsic reflection of the human condition. It constantly aspires to mentor the characteristics and distinctive values that we revere. Nothing embodies this as well as NCAA Men’s Gymnastics. The compulsory economics and impending changes to college athletics is winning over the creative solutions and educated dialogue necessary to protect it. 

NCAA Men’s Gymnastics is a case study about the integrity of college athletics, the concept of a student-athlete and the economics of how to perpetually support it. While the Olympics are the gold standard it is the NCAA Championships that have been the ultimate microcosm of the human condition. We are the culmination of growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict and finality. The loss of this program is profound for the entire community.

JD Reive

Photo by University of Iowa

Speak Out – Make Your Voice Heard Through These Links and Share With Friends

William & Mary: https://linktr.ee/savewmgym

Minnesota Board of Regents: https://regents.umn.edu/regents (click on each for contact info)

Iowa Board of Regents: https://www.iowaregents.edu/contact-us

College Gymnastics Association: https://collegegym.org/news/strongertogether

University of Oklahoma Booster Club: https://bit.ly/2ZKtiIB