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Wieber Turns Pro Before Olympics
(8 votes, average 2.13 out of 5)

2011 world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber has decided to go pro, giving up her eligibility compete in NCAA gymnastics. Wieber, who turned down prize money for winning the American Cup in 2009 and 2011, will be eligible to accept endorsements. "I'm supportive of the idea in that Jordyn isn't cut out for college gymnastics," said her coach, John Geddert. "I don't think the 14 weekends in a row doing watered-down gymnastics, that's not what she's all about. When you compete with the best in the world, I don't see her sinking her teeth into that type of situation." Click here to read the full article.

Comments (18)add comment

Anonymous said:

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Bad decision
In my opinion this is a very bad decision. I like Jordyn, but she just doesn't have the star power/personality of Mary Lou, Nastia or Shawn, which would make it harder to get endorsements, The Wiebers are also making the assumption that she won't incur any serious injuries that would keep her out of London. If that happens, there will be zero endorsements.
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +6

jasimmons said:

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I'm not against her turning pro that's her own business but I would have thought they would wait til right before the Olympics or even after just to be safe with all the injuries that have happened lately.
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +7

Vanessa said:

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how does it work?
Could anybody tell me how does it works the eligibility? I really don't understand how does it works! Thanks!!!
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +0

starr said:

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NCAA eligibility
To answer the question in most simple/basic terms. An athlete who wants to compete at the NCAA (college) level in the US cannot at ANY point in their athletic careers accept prize money or endorsement deals. Such actions result in them becoming a "pro athlete" and results in their inability to pursue a 4-year college athletic career competing for their university.
This is especially important for female gymnasts b/c most elite women's gymnasts will compete at the elite PRIOR to enrolling in college as it is less likely for a female gymnast to transition to elite-level post-college (notable exceptions, Mohini Bardwaj and Anna Li). Some choose to defer becoming "pro" until they have at least tried competing at the NCAA level (Alicia Sacramone). Others, like the Caquatto sisters, have chosen to not become "pro" so that they can compete for a college team. Keep in mind, in the early 2000s the many of the gymnasts we saw at the elite level (Courtney Kupets, Terin Humphrey, Holly Vise) would return to gymnastics when they went to college after retiring from elite-level competition b/c back then, endorsement deals were's as "available." Other gymnasts, like Nastia, Shawn, and now Jordyn haven chosen to make gymnastics a "profession," which means they can compete for money and get endorsement/sponsorship deals during their elite careers.
This is not as much of an issue for male gymnasts b/c very few men will be competitive at the elite-level prior to enrolling at college (notably, the Hamm brothers, John Orozco). Thus, most men will not have to deal with this crossroads b/c their 4 year NCAA-careers are actually stepping stones to becoming elite-level professional gymnasts.
Hopefully, that answered your question. I didn't go into the nitty-gritty on the actual NCAA rules, but rather discussed it in terms of gymnastics and why this is "a big deal."
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +7

Margaret Tudor said:

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I don't see why anyone should think this is a 'bad' decision. Not everyone cares for college gymnastics and there isn't alot of opportunity to make money in gymnastics. At least now she can accept any prize money that may come her way and endorsements.
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +1

Anonymous said:

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Tudor - they're going on the assumption that she will not only be in London, but will win the AA. A college scholarship is worth $100,000 over four years. That's a lot to risk if she gets injured or doesn't win the Olympic AA. If it were my kid, I would have made her wait to turn pro until AFTER the Olympics, since there isn't that much money to be made between now and then anyway. And unless you're Mary Lou, Shawn or Nastia, you probably aren't going to make up the cost of a four year education at a Div. 1 school through endorsements even if you do "win it all." I can't really picture Jordyn appearing on Dancing With the Stars, doing a fashion line or commentating.
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +9

jollybarb said:

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I think it's a great decision; one that probably stems from endorsements already offered. Now Jordyn is the World Allaround Champion she should definitely risk the $100,000 scholarship money and turn pro-I think she is an amazing gymnast with a great personality - Just look at her floor exercise...Chellsie Memmel owns her own home and she was only ever the World AA Champ with a Silver Olympic team medal...I can definitely see a Jordyn Gym Treasures or something like it line. You go girl!
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +4

jollybarb said:

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Oh yeah, and I forgot to add, Alicia Sacramone gave up her post at Brown University in favour of merely attempting to make the 2012 London Games...She has been injured this year...and to be honest, unless she upgrades her vault...probably won't make the Olympic Team. Priorities are priorities and no one can argue that Jordyn is and has always been a super-talent. Coming up through the Junior ranks, I always thought she had a great personality...And she is definitely getting better at dealing with the press...More confident.
 
October 28, 2011
Votes: +3

J said:

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I have no problem with anyone deciding to go pro or to do what they want to do. I do think John Geddert's comments regarding NCAA gymnsstics were somewhat demeaning to those teams and athletes. He could have said that Jordyn would find it hard to abide by the collegiate practice, competitive, and difficulty rules and retain her skill level. But his comment about 13 weekends of competing watered down routines was, I thought, a very poor way to portray NCAA gymnastics.

John,I know you are riding high right now, but don't forget that for many, NCAA gymnastics is the pinnacle of their career. I am sure many of your athletes will compete in that arena. Don't characterize what they do as less than a strenuous sport. Just remember, that is probably where the majority of your athletes ( you know the ones who pay your bills) go if they can.

In other words, don't let your ego get the best of you buddy.
 
October 29, 2011
Votes: +22

Jessie said:

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J, I was thinking the same thing. When is John Geddert going to turn professional?
 
October 29, 2011
Votes: +12

hobbes said:

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With a 3.94 GPA I have no doubt an academic scholarship will be waiting for her whenever she's ready for it.
I'll bet most girls who choose NCAA gymnatics could just as easily get academic scolarships. Gymnasts are smart and successful people!
 
October 30, 2011
Votes: +10

Jules said:

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I also think her coaches comments were in bad taste. Maybe Jordan is interested in a university that doesn't have a gymnastics program. I wish her the best of luck.
 
November 01, 2011
Votes: +5

Vanessa said:

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Hey Star- thank you for your explanation, don't know why but my reply post didn't show up! Thank you for the clear explanation! And I also think she could easily find an academic scholarship with that GPA!
 
November 02, 2011
Votes: +0

Robin said:

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John Geddert seems to have developed himself a little habit of saying idiotic things. In addition to the comment above, in IG's July/August issue, he talked about his former student Rebecca Bross: "She came to us as a Level 5, went Level 6 and was going 7, 8 when they got the grass-is-greener mentality. She was just like she is now: a little workaholic-type kid, obviously very talented." (US Championships Preview, p. 15) I'm sure he's not bitter at all about Bross leaving Twistars for WOGA...[sarcastic]

I wish Jordyn all the best, but I also hope Geddert will learn a little more tact.
 
November 02, 2011
Votes: +6

RachelT said:

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Call a spade a spade
Let's be honest if you are going to make an announcement like that. It is all about the money and she wants endorsements. Nothing wrong with that at all. I think what is wrong is for her coach to say she isn't about "14 weeks of watered down gymnastics.". This is an insult to collegiate gymnastics. He is trying to make it sound like it isn't about the money and college gymnastics isn't her thing. Let's be fair. It is about the money and that is fine. Just don't try to make it something that is isn't.
 
November 05, 2011
Votes: +9
..., Low-rated comment [Show]

Debi said:

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John Geddert deserves this success,as do his wife and entire staff.I don't think his comments about college gymnastics were all that well thought out but let's give this guy a break.In addition to coaching a world champion he has done a lot for USA gymnastics at every level,as well as proven to be a consistent class act.
 
November 07, 2011
Votes: -3

jollybarb said:

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I agree that it's wrong to cast NCAA gymnastics in a negative light. I really strongly believe that USA has so many talented elites because there is a second option for gymnasts who don't make it on the World or Olympic stage...That's a big reason why so many children start in the sport...because all the money that goes into paying for training can pay off in more ways than one. In Australia we have very few children participating in gymnastics...It's expensive and there is no NCAA scholarship to work for...Just the joy of learning balance, strength, flexibility and skills...and maybe the option of Worlds or Olympics if the child is supertalented. Coaches should applaud the NCAA system for that reason if nothing else...I think it is part of what attracts parents to the sport and a huge reason for USA's success on the World stage.
 
November 09, 2011
Votes: +4

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