Texas University Isn’t Cheering One Student On

Published September 11, 2008

Posted Sept. 11, 2008 –  It doesn’t matter that Jamie Burns has let the campus off the hook, her doctors have cleared her medically, and that her mom has said to let her daughter do what she was recruited for – officials at Southern Methodist University say that she won’t be cheerleading.

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Her coach informed her on Friday that she can do nothing more than clap on the sidelines because she wears a pacemaker for an irregular heartbeat, and her condition is not covered by SMU’s insurance.

"Cheerleading has always been my life," Burns said. "I've always pushed myself to get better at tumbling, jumps, everything."

Burns' cardiologist sent releases stating that she’s good to go, and she even signed a waiver of liability, promising not to sue the Dallas-based university if she were to fall sick or get injured. But Lori White, the vice president of student affairs, said that isn’t enough.

"It's not only the liability for this individual student," said White. "For example, if she's at the base of a pyramid and something were to happen to her and she collapses, then she may also injure other students," she said.

Burns can keep her cheerleading scholarship, SMU says, but she’ll have to give up her acrobatic moves.

"It's not right," Burns said. "If they didn't want me to cheer to begin with, then they should have probably said that at the beginning and not gotten my hopes up as far as they have now. I feel like I'm being cheated for no reason. There's nothing wrong with me."

Do you think Burns should be allowed to cheer, or is it too much of a risk?  Click “Discuss Now,” on the upper right, or go HERE  to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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