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Rumors Netflix show might disqualify area cheer team unfounded

NHead Cheer Coach at Navarro College Monica Aldama says team is eligible--and ready--to compete...
NHead Cheer Coach at Navarro College Monica Aldama says team is eligible--and ready--to compete for another national cheerleading championship despite rumors the team's Netflix series might have violated the rules. (Photo by Rissa Shaw)(KWTX)
Published: Jan. 29, 2020 at 10:56 PM CST
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The Navarro College cheerleading team's bid for another national championship is not in jeopardy, despite recent media reports that a new rule might force the team to surrender its series "Cheer" on Netflix in order to compete.

The college's longtime Head Cheer Coach Monica Aldama is addressing--and discrediting--the rumors.

"PLEASE know that no rules have been changed as those are the same as last year," she said in a Facebook post. "Varsity has always been supportive of us and are always there for anything we need. Let’s stop sharing those news stories because they do not contain accurate information."

Varsity Spirit operates the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) and it's competitions.

A spokesman for the company says the team's eligibility is not in question.

"Navarro Cheer is a fixture at the championship and they are certainly eligible to compete in the future as long as they qualify," they told KWTX.

The company also released this statement to News 10:

"Varsity Spirit’s video policy prohibits teams from having outside production cameras at our championship events. This policy exists to ensure the focus remains on creating a great live experience for all competitors and their family members. All the teams that compete in our championships, as you saw on Cheer, work incredibly hard so we are very careful to limit unnecessary disruptions. That said, when the Cheer production team approached us and asked for permission to film, in the spirit of collaboration and potential future partnership, we offered to work with them and provide our event footage. This is something we have done on other occasions, including Lifetime’s recent show Cheerleader Generation. We couldn’t come to an agreement then but our hope is we will be able to work with Greg Whitley and the Netflix team in the future. We agree with the aim of Cheer and appreciate the spotlight they put on these young athletes and how hard they work. Cheerleading can have an incredibly positive impact in shaping the lives of young people."

The statement adds fuel to the fire that a second season of "Cheer" is already in the works.

"We're still living in this moment and just now started talking about season two," said Stacie Sipes, Director of Marketing & Public Information for Navarro College.

Sipes said the team was in New York Wednesday doing press for Netflix and would return to Texas Thursday night.

The six-episode series, which follows the 40-member squad from Corsicana on the grueling journey to the national cheerleading championships in Daytona Beach, debuted earlier this month to much acclaim.

The 2020 NCA and NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship is April 8-12 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Since 2000, Aldama, whose career coaching and teaching at Navarro has spanned 25-years, has brought home 14 national and five grand-national titles.

Some were reporting, last year's title, and future ones, might be in danger over the exclusivity policy listed in the competition rule book for the NCA.

The policy reads as follows:

"...teams may jeopardize their eligibility to compete in the NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship if they participate in a televised program or print media that portrays their team, school or general activity of collegiate cheer and/or dance in a negative manner. NCA & NDA must deem the program or material content reasonable and appropriate regarding performance integrity, safety, individual and school privacy and reputation, and overall image. Schools that desire to compete at Nationals and participate in such media (reality show or documentary, news articles, books, etc.) should consult their school legal council to develop an access license and consult with NCA & NDA in advance to pre-determine any possible conflicts of interest. The access license is a legal agreement that prohibits producers or publishers from including certain subject matters from being included in their media product, as well as grants the school officials the right to approve and/or reject final portrayal of their respective spirit squads that might be harmful or disrespectful to the school or spirit program."