Released earlier this month, Netflix’s new docuseries Cheer quickly caught people’s eye with its unflinching look at the demands placed on the young members of one of the country’s most successful and prestigious cheerleading programs. Filmed by Last Chance U’s Greg Whiteley, the series embeds itself in Monica Aldama’s award-bedecked program at Navarro College, capturing the triumphs, the stresses, and the injuries—oh god, so many injuries—that pave the way to cheer-based greatness.
Now, though, it’s sounding like the organization might have to choose between further online fame and a shot at its next big title: Texas’ ABC 25 News reports on an exclusivity policy in the NCA and NDA Collegiate Cheer competitions’ policy list that explicitly names participating in series like Cheer as a possible block to allowing a team to compete. Although the policy has apparently been on the books since 2017, it could still spell trouble for the team; the rule states that “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.” Further, it states that the organization essentially gets final cut on any TV or film projects that depict teams competing in its ranks.
Of course, all of this might be moot: So far, Netflix hasn’t made any noise about a second season of Cheer, despite vocal appreciation from famous fans like Reese Witherspoon and Houston Texans player J.J. Watt. And we can’t imagine that Aldama—whose whole thing is promoting a semi-terrifying drive toward excellence—would allow her program to be imperiled for even a minute by a shot at continued Netflix stardom, no matter the opportunities it might afford.