YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Inside Track

Hot Corner

November 04, 2002|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, heard, observed, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

What: "Outside the Lines: Cheerleading, Controversy and Competition"

Where: ESPN, Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Three cheers for ESPN. The network's investigative series offers a one-hour special that takes an in-depth look at the positive and negative aspects of cheerleading.

The opening segment focuses on the cheerleading squad at Louisiana State, regarded as one of the best in the country. Viewers learn about the rigors and demands of being a college cheerleader.

Reporter Shelley Smith offers a powerful segment on the dangers of cheerleading. Nearly 25,000 cheerleading injuries required emergency room care last year.

Nebraska no longer allows aerial maneuvers after one of its cheerleaders was seriously injured six years ago, resulting in a $2-million legal settlement. This segment also includes interviews with Dale Baldwin, a male Kentucky cheerleader paralyzed in 1986, and the sister of Janis Thompson, a North Dakota State cheerleader killed doing a stunt in 1986.

A segment called "Pompom Gate" features Newport Harbor High in Newport Beach and the latest cheerleading controversy at that school. A protest last year over the selection of cheerleaders led to hurt feelings and lost friendships -- and the creation of an offshoot squad promoted by radio personality Rick Dees.

"Outside the Lines" host Bob Ley, in another segment, discusses how cheerleading has grown into a big business that includes cheerleading camps and televised national competitions.

Three NFL cheerleading squads are featured -- all for different reasons.

There's a look back at the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, who started the cheerleading craze in the NFL. There's a report on the lawsuit filed earlier this year by more than 100 Philadelphia Eagle cheerleaders against 29 teams claiming players had been spying on them in their locker room through holes in the visitor's locker room since 1983. And there's a piece on what it takes to become a Raiderette.

Los Angeles Times Articles