LSU’s gymnastics team is getting an extra layer of security for the rest of the season, coach Jeff Clark said Tuesday after a scandalous situation involving fans in Salt Lake City interested in seeing Olivia Dunne .
Dunne has built a large following on TikTok since joining the LSU program, with nearly seven million followers on TikTok alone and leveraging the large following into lucrative name, image and likeness deals. But he had to clamp down on his fan base and urge them to be «respectful» after multiple incident claims surfaced after his game against Utah.
Clark told The Advocate/Times-Picayune that a security officer will travel with the team to competitions for the remainder of the season.
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«That person will be at our hotel and out of our locker room and will drive us to and from the bus on location,» Clark told the outlet. «(The officer) will be there to create a perimeter that will keep everyone safe.»
Clark said she wanted to make sure fans were able to seek autographs from the gymnasts, but also keep the athletes’ safety in mind. Gymnasts have been known to take to the stands and fraternize with their family and friends in between routines.
«Things have to change. We just can’t expose them,» Clark added. «We are looking at some policy changes that will give fathers access to a different place than their daughters.»
LSU’S OLIVIA DUNNE APPLAUDES NULL DEAL CRITICS: ‘IS THIS TOO MUCH?’
Olympic gold medalist Kathy Johnson Clarke revealed that fans had asked her multiple times if she was Dunne’s mother, while the mother of a Utah athlete took to Facebook to claim that Tigers fans were «so rude and disrespectful «, according to to OutKick.
On Sunday, Dunne tweeted that he appreciated the support but asked fans to be more respectful.
«I will always appreciate and love your support but if you come to a meeting I want to ask you to be respectful of other gymnasts and the gymnastics community as we are just doing our job,» she wrote.
LSU lost to Utah 197,275-196,725. Utah entered the meet as the No. 3 team in the nation. The Tigers were ranked #6.
Dunne is one of the most followed college athletes on social media. According to On3 Sports, Dunne has an NIL valuation of $2.3 million. He reportedly earns around $2 million from various endorsements, including the vuori Sportswear Brand, American Eagle and Planet Fuel. Dunne is also signed to one of the largest WME Sports agencies.
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Dunne is a junior at LSU. When Dunne first started at LSU in 2021, he made the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll and was also a WCGA Academic All-American. She was a WCGA All-American on the uneven bars and, in 2022, she was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.