2012 would be the 100th anniversary of Cal men's gymnastics, and I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping it reaches that milestone. But the winds of economic gloom, particularly in the great state of California, have caused considerable concern among the Cal gymnastics faithful.
"No announcement has been made about program cuts here at Cal," said head coach Barry Weiner (shown here), who just completed his 19th season with the Golden Bears. "However, with the poor economic climate in the state of California, our athletic director, Sandy Barbour, has clearly stated nothing is off the table, including program cuts. Therefore, the Cal men's gymnastics family is asking for letters of support."
Weiner, an ardent student of the sport, led Cal to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1997 and 1998, and his gymnasts claimed three of the top six ranks at the 2009 U.S. championships.
The cuts are slated for late July or early August. If you are a supporter of Cal gymnastics—or simply a supporter of gymnastics—log on to calgymnasticsforever.com to see how you can help. It would be a shame to lose a program that enhances both the NCAA and USA Gymnastics.
Bellu, Bitang back in the gym
IG reported earlier that Romanian women's national coach Nicolae Forminte resigned in a huff after learning that the expertise of his predecessors, Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang, had been solicited by the Romanian federation. Forminte later came to his senses and said he would reconsider his rash decision to quit.
Forminte's sudden resignation certainly took federation officials by surprise, but now, a few weeks later, his return apparently is no longer needed. With the national team on vacation from school right now, they have been training in Izvorani. Bellu and Bitang have been in the gym daily and running the workouts, along with other national team coaches.
Word out of Romania is that the atmosphere in the gym is very positive, so don't expect Forminte to be welcomed back. And while nothing is set in stone yet for the Rotterdam worlds in terms on who will coach the team, it wouldn't surprise me to see Bellu and Bitang return to their former head coaching roles at some point before 2011.