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OU's Maggie Nichols: Winter sports athletes deserve one last chance to compete

NORMAN — Maggie Nichols and the OU women's gymnastics team were supposed to spend last weekend in the NCAA Regionals at Lloyd Noble Center.

Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the last month of their season and last week, the NCAA announced that spring sports athletes would be granted another year of eligibility while winter sports athletes would not.

Monday, Nichols made a case for additional eligibility for athletes in not only gymnastics but basketball and wrestling as well.

"We will never have a chance to compete for NCAA team and individual championships again," Nichols wrote in a message she posted on Twitter. "We deserve another opportunity to compete for these championships that we spent our entire season preparing for. We were unable to finish our seasons the way we should have, by striving for greatness and winning championships.

"The complexity of figuring out a solution is understandable, but it is the right thing to do. We deserve one last opportunity to compete."


Nichols won the NCAA all-around title in 2018 and 2019, helping the Sooners win national titles in 2017 and 2019.

Related Photos
University of Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols competes in the bars during the women's gymnastics competition between the University of Oklahoma and Arkansas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla Monday, Jan. 20, 2020.   [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

University of Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols competes in the bars during the women's gymnastics competition between the University of Oklahoma and Arkansas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-abc05e76f8eabc03020ddfe9838af692.jpg" alt="Photo - University of Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols competes in the bars during the women's gymnastics competition between the University of Oklahoma and Arkansas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] " title="University of Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols competes in the bars during the women's gymnastics competition between the University of Oklahoma and Arkansas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>University of Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols competes in the bars during the women's gymnastics competition between the University of Oklahoma and Arkansas at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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