Olivia Dunne: LSU gymnast who earns $2M from racy pics and endorsements on social media slammed by coach

'I guess sometimes we have this swinging pendulum, where we maybe take two steps forward, and then we take a step back,' Tara VanDerveer, women's basketball coach, said

Olivia Dunne: LSU gymnast who earns $2M from racy pics and endorsements on social media slammed by coach
Olivia Dunne makes $2 million a year through sponsors and explicit social media posts for endorsing sexism in sports (Instagram/@livvydunne)
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BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA: Tara VanDerveer, a renowned women's basketball coach, has condemned Olivia Dunne, a gymnast from Louisiana State University, who makes $2 million a year through sponsors and explicit social media, posts for endorsing sexism in sports. Dunne, 20, is one of the many female athletes who earn millions of dollars through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals.

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From the time college athletes were permitted to participate in NIL deals, female athletes are increasingly flaunting candid and flirtatious posts to gain millions of social media followers, which helps to enhance endorsement arrangements. Stanford University's most successful women's collegiate basketball coach, VanDerveer, told the New York Times that these deals are harmful to female athletes, despite Dunne's claims that it helped her land a seven-figure paycheck. 

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VanDerveer stated, "I guess sometimes we have this swinging pendulum, where we maybe take two steps forward, and then we take a step back. We're fighting for all the opportunities to compete, to play, to have resources, to have facilities, to have coaches, and all the things that go with Olympic-caliber athletics."

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Head coach Tara VanDerveer of the Stanford Cardinal reacts during the third quarter against the Texas Longhornsin the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Elite 8 Round at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 27, 2022 in Spokane, Washington.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer of the Stanford Cardinal at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 27, 2022 in Spokane, Washington (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

"This is a step back," VanDerveer concluded. In spite of VanDerveer's criticism, Dunne told the New York Times that using social media to her advantage has helped her earn a higher salary than she would have if she had only focused on sports.

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Dunne said, "Seven figures. That is something I'm proud of. Especially since I'm a woman in college sports. There are no professional leagues for most women's sports after college." Dunne began gymnastics at the age of three, and at the age of 18, she had earned her first million dollars. The New Jersey native is currently one of the top athletes in collegiate sports.

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Olivia Dunne competes on the balance beam during the Jr. Women's 2016 Secret US Classic at the XL Center on June 4, 2016 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Olivia Dunne competes on the balance beam during the Jr. Women's 2016 Secret US Classic at the XL Center on June 4, 2016 in Hartford, Connecticut (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Dune entered the 2014 American Classic with years of experience under her belt, making her elite debut, and three years later, she joined the American national gymnastics team. She took a break from elite gymnastics in 2020 to participate for Louisiana State University.

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In the wake of revealing a glimpse inside her glitzy life as an NCAA gymnast, Dunne's social media fan base increased. She had a total of five million followers across all her social media platforms by August 2021, making her the most popular college athlete. The rise of Dunne as a social media influencer is the source of her substantial fortune.

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