CSULB cheer coach knew about ineligible competitor
April 19, 2011
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The Long Beach State Cheer Team forfeited a national title and terminated its coach’s contract after a non-student was discovered competing as a member of the team.
According to Christina Esparza, Associated Students Inc. communications coordinator, Coach Eric Anderson was terminated for allowing a male non-student, who had graduated in December, to compete with the team.
“When we found out that he had competed, we voluntarily forfeited. It was the best thing to do. We couldn’t have, in good conscience, kept it,” Esparza said, referring to the forfeiture of the team’s National Cheerleaders Association Small Coed Division I championship title.
According to Esparza, Sylvana Cicero, University Student Union assistant director of programs, and the supervisor overseeing the cheer team, saw the championship video and recognized the male graduate’s face.
“They’re a fantastic team,” Esparza said. “I think it’s really a big shame for them to lose something that they actually did earn … The team is so good, it probably could have competed without him and won the title.”
Scott Ebersteinm, a former CSULB cheer team member, was not surprised to hear about a non-student competing on the team.
“I don’t know for sure if he directly knew if [competitors] weren’t students, but I would put my money on it,” Eberstein said.
Eberstein called Anderson a good choreographer but said he frequently showed up late to practices and games, sometimes not coming to at all.
Eberstein also said Anderson would get so mad at the team that sometimes he would just get up and leave.
Repeated phone calls to Anderson were not returned Tuesday.
ASI, which funds the cheer team and other Beach Pride programs, has ended Anderson’s contract.
The school will be looking for a new coach from the National Cheerleaders Association and the United Spirit Association, Esparza said. Esparza also said the cheerleaders on the team may or may not have known that the non-student competitor had graduated.
“If we knew the guy graduated in December, I can imagine they [the team] knew. But I can’t say for certain,” she said.