Skip to main content

Gophers criticized for celebrating gymnast's Olympic qualification despite cutting program

It attracted criticism on social media.

The University of Minnesota's Gophers Sports program celebrated an Olympic qualification on Sunday evening, but attracted criticism for doing so.

Gophers alum Shane Wiskus was one of five members to make the Team USA men's gymnastics team for the Japan Olympics Sunday, prompting a celebratory tweet from Gophers Sports.

But the tweet received a significant amount of criticism given that the Gophers cut its men's gymnastics program last summer.

The program was one of four "non-revenue sports" eliminated as the University of Minnesota cut costs following the onset of COVID-19, the others being men's indoor and outdoor track and field, and men's tennis.

A report by 60 Minutes claimed the decision to cut the teams was directly connected to the loss of TV money from football and basketball due to the pandemic, with the cuts saving the university $1.6 million. Gophers Athletics director Mark Coyle refused to be interviewed for the show.

It's for this reason that the tweet was met with a critical response, with Australian gymnast Mary-Anne Monckton among those criticizing the program.

"If you can’t stand with someone in their worst times, don’t expect to be there in their best times," she tweeted. "You let Shane and the whole program down."

Screen Shot 2021-06-28 at 7.38.50 AM
Screen Shot 2021-06-28 at 7.37.13 AM
Screen Shot 2021-06-28 at 7.37.05 AM

Coyle did issue a statement to 60 Minutes at the time saying that while the cuts were "heartbreaking," it will "best position its department of athletics for sustainable, long-term success."

Next Up


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


Olympics: Gophers could be golden

The University of Minnesota could have a couple of its alumni win gold medals at the London Olympics on Saturday. Former Gopher basketball star Lindsay Whalen has helped lead Team USA to the gold medal game, and former Gopher volleyball star Lindsey Berg will go for gold Saturday, too.

Goldy Gopher

University of Minnesota to discontinue 4 teams from athletics department

The pandemic is creating an estimated $75M loss of revenue this fiscal year.

Gable Steveson

Gable Steveson is crushing everyone at the Olympics

He has yet to give up a single point to an opponent.

Gophers' Kelci Bryant earns Olympic berth in diving

University of Minnesota diver Kelci Bryant is headed to the Olympics in London. Bryant and Abby Johnston won the 3-meter springboard synchro final at the Olympic trials in suburban Seattle.

Screen Shot 2021-08-06 at 7.04.55 AM

Watch: Gable Steveson wins wrestling gold at the very last second

It couldn't have been any more dramatic for the Apple Valley native.

Shane Wiskus

Former Gopher Shane Wiskus had 'a crazy year' on his way to Olympics

The elimination of the Gophers' gymnastics program was just the beginning.