Monday, July 26, 2010

Does Varsity Brands Own the NCSF Cheer Association?

Friday, June 18, 2010 I posted a blog, Cheerleaders Rock!
At the end, Tiffani said...
"The National Cheer Safety Foundation is not funded by, nor affiliated with, Varsity Brands Incorporated." - July 8, 2010 11:21 AM

Well, Penn and Teller on their show, Bullshit! disagree. But I wanted to know what was true. I was hard pressed to find out. Next time that episode of Bullshit! comes on, I'll save it, review it, and try to track down what they had to say. Sadly, I cannot find a copy of that episode and had already deleted it from my Tivo. [7/27/2010 - author retraction, the NCSF is not indicated as being funded by Varsity in this episode of Bullsh*t! Thanks to Tiffany for that clarification with offering me a link to that episode. YOU Rock, Tiffany! :) ].

My desire on my blog, is to entertain, inform, spark people's attention, and obviously, drive more readers to my posts. But I have no desire in spreading misinformation. So, as soon as I find out different, once I have hard data, I'll share it here with you.

I would assume, the Penn and Teller researchers on their show found something indicating a link, otherwise they would be getting sued by NCSF and more likely, Varsity Brands Inc. There is a legal standard that if you don't protect your brand, you can lose it; and you have no right to say something about someone, if you can't prove it. Penn and Teller have a slew of Attorneys to keep them from getting sued. So I would initially have to assume they have indeed found a link between these two previously thought to be autonomous entities.

Once I find out they were wrong, you'll know it.

What I was able to track down, was the following:

Jim Lord. Executive Director of AACCA, which is owned by Varsity
Mike Pare (Assistant coach for UCF, owns Spirit Athletics, and a UofK cheer alumni) and Cheer Athletics (which is owned by Varsity)

The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators AACCA is owned by varsity.
Spirit Athletics is owned by Mike Pare.
Cheer Athletics is owned by varsity.

AACCA is also a member of the Organization of Spirit Industry Providers (OSIP), the membership-based organization for educational organizations, suppliers, publications, competition organizers, safety organizations and gym owner groups for the spirit industry.



    Above is a link to the Penn&Teller episode on cheerleading, I am unsure how you got the idea that they suggest the NCSF is linked to Varsity Brands, Inc. Yes, they do own practically every other company in the industry, but the National Cheer Safety Foundation is completely self-sustained by the parents of catastrophically injured and dead cheerleaders.

  2. You are more than welcome to take a look at my blog where I have already done the research. NCSF is in no way connected to Varsity. I know the founder personally and have interviewed her myself.

    Varsity is a huge corporation with their hands in every aspect of cheerleading as it is today. NCSF is an independent advocacy organization, and thus a thorn in their side!

    Co-Founder Cheer Moms

  3. Thanks so much for the link, Tiffani. That was a big help. I'll take a look at that and deal with this appropriately. It certainly wasn't my intent to either be incorrect or disrespectful to a good organization.

  4. I am so sorry! I put the wrong link. I was doing some research. Here is the correct one:

  5. Thanks to both of you, Tiffany and Cheer Moms Lisa. I always appreciate being corrected when I'm wrong. Because, what's important, all that is important, is the Truth.
    In re-watching the episode Tiffany sent me a link to, I was finally able to see what happened. Usually I am pretty good about this kind of thing, but this time, I had my notes wrong and had somehow gotten the wrong initials in the wrong place. Stupid mistake. However, finding out this was a mistake, actually makes me pretty happy, because I was concerned about what I thought was a bad conflict of interest situation.
    In my opinion, I think these girls (and boys where that may be the case) deserve all they can get in the way of help, support and safety. My daughter was in aerobic training when she was younger and it sometimes scared me to death watching her practice. I'm happy to say she never had a bad accident of any kind and I was happier still when she moved on into other pursuits. Not that equitation was any better in a way (her mom was an internationally certified professional horse trainer and riding instructor); as one day, she did have a horse she was riding in a class, rise up and fall over backward and rolling off of her, giving her tiny frame a ride in an ambulance and a hospital check up that cost me a few gray hairs. Luckily, she only had to suffer through a couple of weeks of being sore in not the best of places.
    Anyway, any parent with a child in cheer has my deepest respect and awe at their perseverance and strength of character. :)
    All the best.