Kayla DiCello says, ‘Maybe just use AI to make flashcards,’ the NCAA says, ‘We’re watching you’ — Other gym news

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, March 11, 2023

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Whew, I’ve never gotten meaner tweets about anything I bylined than I did in response to writing about Livvy Dunne and the AI company she promoted on TikTok (and LSU’s subsequent response about the student code of conduct looking rather harshly upon plagiarism). 

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Unfortunately for the mean tweeters, I worked as a comment moderator for a major media outlet for many years, including during the previous presidential administration, and am pretty much impervious to mean tweets. I tend to view them as proof that I’m doing my job right — I made you read something I wrote and got you to feel something about it. 

On that note, Kayla DiCello of Florida is now promoting Cacktus.ai too! It’s the same tool Dunne promoted, but DiCello’s TikTok shows her advocating the use of AI as a study tool (making flashcards, for example) versus using it to write a paper. The line is narrower than a balance beam and as shaky as Ana Padarariu’s improperly secured uneven bars, though. 


After long days of travel and a busy week ahead, Caktus Al helps get me ahead on my studying and extra prep! caktus > chatgpt #caktus #college #athlete #trending #studentathlete #student


As GymCastic noted this week, the NCAA in February handed down its first penalty for an NIL-related infraction, and it was to a female coach of female athletes. Per Deadspin, Katie Meier, the head coach of the University of Miami women’s basketball team, was suspended for three games. The university must also serve one year of probation, pay a $5,000 fine plus 1% of its budget, and cannot talk with potential transfers for three weeks after the transfer portal opens. They also have reduced recruiting visits and in-person recruiting days. Why? Because Meier coordinated a meeting between basketball players (and TikTok stars) Hanna and Haley Cavinder and a Miami booster. The booster then tweeted about the meeting, which made the NCAA look.

The Cavinders were not directly sanctioned, because the NCAA has said that student athletes (nor any individual boosters who play a role, as in the Cavinders’ case) will not be penalized for NIL-adjacent violations. The sanctions imposed affect only the school. 

Now, we probably all know (wink wink, of course) that meetings like this take place often between boosters and recruits for football and men’s basketball teams, aka the big moneymakers for most universities with NCAA Division I sports. In those cases, the boosters don’t usually tweet about them and the meetings remain an open secret as far as the NCAA is concerned. Not always, but often. 

But social media now plays a role in tipping off the NCAA, as we saw in the Cavinders’ case. According to Sports Illustrated, the NCAA can now use circumstantial evidence like the booster’s tweet about his dinner with the Cavinder twins to go after a university for an NIL infraction. “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” Jon Duncan, the NCAA vice president of enforcement is quoted in the SI story as saying. He means that the burden of proof is now on the school to refute a violation. 

It remains to be seen whether the NCAA would see the NIL deals struck by Dunne and DiCello (and maybe others) with Cacktus.ai as a violation, and if so, if they could take action against the schools whose students promote the tool. But because the NCAA is able to use social posts as evidence in these cases — and so many gymnasts, as well as other female NCAA stars, have thriving social-media followings — it might be worth an additional evaluation of NIL offers in light of the ruling in the Cavinders’ case. 

And if you ask me, promoting AI as a means to do your schoolwork for you is a quacking duck. 

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Other gym news

Number-two Michigan beat No. 1 Oklahoma, and No. 3 Florida did not beat Oklahoma (but maybe also did not try? GymCastic walked us through the possibilities.). Those were the big headlines of NCAA Week 9. Road to Nationals has cold hard numbers. Spencer at The Balance Beam Situation has the NQS facts, the lowdown on all the 10s and, of course, the GIFs. He also has this weekend’s schedule — the last of the regular season! College Gym News has the leotard rankings.    

Jordan Chiles will defer school for a year to train for the 2024 Paris Olympics, she announced this week in International Gymnast.  

If you aren’t reading College Gym News’ series on judging, you should be. This installment takes on the controversial 10/9.85 splits we’ve seen on many routines this season. 

I have also enjoyed CGN’s interviews with gymnasts who are doing really cool things academically while also training and competing weekly. Michigan’s Natalie Wojcik and Abby Heiskell are in grad school (for social work and business, respectively) while completing their fifth and final seasons. Eastern Michigan’s Hannah Hartung is becoming a pilot. And Kentucky’s Bailey Lovett is in her first year of law school. 

I also enjoyed this “Where is she now?” piece on Sam Cerio, who is now a rocket scientist.

Suni Lee won’t compete for Auburn in their (and her, since she will leave the school next year to train for the Olympics) last home meet. Her absence is due to a “non-gymnastics health issue” per Jeff Graba. 

The Gymternet has a good piece on what’s going on at the Baku World Cup this weekend. 

Brooklyn Moors, who has been out of competition for most of UCLA’s season with an injury, is back, and so is her super-emotive floor routine. 

USAG announced its rosters for the upcoming junior worlds, as well as DTB Pokal and Jesolo. 

Russian rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner has been banned by the FIG for two years following whenever Russia is allowed to compete internationally again. Byeeee. 

Utah’s Jaedyn Rucker, Maile O’Keefe and Abby Paulson will all take fifth years.

Rucker used her NIL money (get it girl) to fly out the mother of Aaron Lowe, the Utah football player killed in a 2021 shooting at a house party, to the Red Rocks’ senior night. It’s extremely dusty in here now. 

Oksana Chusovitina cannot be stopped. 

An essay by former Five at The IX interviewee Rae Meadows in the Guardian praises adult gymnastics. 

Dominique Dawes left her Olympic gold medal in a bathroom in the San Antonio airport. Someone returned it to her. (Can this person get on the jean jacket I left in the San Francisco airport in 1992?)

Social post of the week

Gabrielle Stephen is a Michigan State gymnast. Her dad, Patrick, promised his daughter last year to do a back flip if MSU ever scored a 198. They did it for the first time in program history last week, and Patrick came through. In Spartan-green striped overalls, no less. 

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Written by Lela Moore