Many congratulations to the Nittany Lions of Penn State on making the home advantage stick, and taking their NCAA-high 12th National Championship in Men’s Gymnastics. They defeated Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota in the team finals at State College on Friday. This came on the same weekend when police descended upon the campus to interview football players suspected in a burglary and assault. No points for guessing which story received more press.
The all round individual championship went to Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons of Oklahoma, whose teammate Jonathan Horton took the individual titles in the floor exercise and horizontal bar. Tim McNeil of California also scored two individual titles, in the pommel horse and the parallel bars. Stanford teammates Alex Schorsch and David Sender picked up the individual titles in Rings and Vault respectively.
Penn State also commands a respectable 78% graduation rate in NCAA sports ‘Other’ than Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country/Track, and Football. It is no great shock that Stanford is tops amongst the participating teams at 89%, followed by Illinois and Michigan at 88% and 81% respectively. Minnesota at 61% and Oklahoma at 60% post respectable graduation rates, but considering the shenanigans that continue to proceed in both athletics departments, it is not surprising that they lag the other schools.