Louisiana State University has increased security to ensure Olivia Dunne (its star gymnast) is safe at all future competitions.
Olivia Dunne, a well-known name in bars and media.
Dunne, an All-American in uneven bars at WCGA, has almost 3,000,000 Instagram followers and over 6.7 million followers on TikTok.
In 2021, the NCAA lifted its ban on college athletes making money from their online fame. This is why, at twenty years old, the college junior was America’s highest-paid college student-athlete.
On3 reported that the 20-year-old has signed deals with various big brands including American Eagle, Plant Fuel, and Bartleby, bringing in over $2 million. Dunne frequently showcases her sponsors’ products in the videos she posts on social media.
Dunne told the New York Times she was proud of her November seven-figure earnings, “Especially since I’m a woman in college sports.” ”
Despite her fame being a huge success, it can sometimes become distracting.
Nola.com reported on Jan. 6 that thousands of fans came to Utah’s gymnastics competition. Some were singing “We want her!”
Dunne was unable to compete because of an injury.
Samantha Peszek is an Olympic medalist and broadcaster. She posted a video with Dunne’s male supporters and wrote: “This really is so frightening, disturbing, and creepy.” “They are embarrassing me. ”
This is actually so scary and disturbing and cringey. I’m embarrassed for them… pic.twitter.com/h23bBdBQ9B
— Samantha Peszek (@samanthapeszek) January 8, 2023
KSL.com’s Josh Furlong, a sports reporter for KSL.com, stated that LSU had moved its bus to avoid Dunne fans and that police were required to prevent the boys from getting in.
Furlong tweeted there was a long line outside Huntsman Center waiting for Livvy to come out.
There’s literally a line outside of the Huntsman Center of teenage boys that keep asking if Livvy is coming out. I’ve never seen anything like this.
— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) January 7, 2023
A Utah mother of a gymnast claimed that her daughter believed the fans were disrespectful and rude to other athletes.
The New York Post reported that other athletes were disrupted by the mob.
Dunne’s mother stated that it was wrong for fans to blame the gymnast’s behavior.
It is not ok to blame any athlete/celebrity when fan behavior crosses the line. In a sport where all the girls wear nothing but leotards stop suggesting that how Livvy dresses means she deserves this in any way. Stop shaming girls for the behavior of boys. https://t.co/SG728snPRA
— Katherine Dunne (@4katdunne) January 8, 2023
Dunne responded to the tweets over the weekend with: “I will always appreciate and love the support from your boys, but I would like to ask you to come to a meeting. Please be respectful of other gymnasts because we are just trying our best. ”
Jay Clark was Dunne’s coach. He stated that he has “run people off” before and that at least once, LSU police needed to intervene.
When the LSU team travels across the country to compete in other competitions, a security officer will be present outside their hotel and locker rooms.
Clark told the Advocate/Times-Picayune, “That person will be in our hotel and outside our locker room and getting us to and from the bus at the venue. The officer will create a safe perimeter for everyone.
We want autographs and kids to come to us. Clark said that everyone should be safe.
Dunne’s coach stated that things had to change. He said that student-athletes shouldn’t be left to the mob, especially as this trend accelerates.
LSU students are not permitted to enter the stands following a meeting.
“It was a little bit disconcerting, the level of intensity that went with it. There was a moblike kind of feel to that out there.”@LSUgym Jay Clark shares his thoughts on some of rabid @livvydunne fans that attended the Tigers’ meet in Utah. #LSU pic.twitter.com/FcIKEYb4fi
— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) January 11, 2023
Dunne admitted that Utah’s incident was beyond her control.
“Probably 99 percent of the people there were seeking autographs, but you never know when you get a crowd like that. We’ll do the best we can to protect them,” said the coach. “It’s at the forefront of my mind as a father and coach of these young women. We take very seriously the responsibility to keep them safe.”