On Monday, the University of Kentucky made a bold decision to fire its entire cheerleading coaching staff following an investigation that revealed terrible behavior by multiple people. Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio dropped the news that all four of the school’s cheerleading coaches have been terminated.
Kentucky released a document which said the cheerleading coaches failed “to provide reasonable oversight during off-campus events, where inappropriate conduct by members of the cheerleading squad included hazing activities, alcohol use and public nudity.”
A couple of cheerleaders have since taken to Twitter to defend the program.
“This program is the epitome of professionalism. It’s not only made me a better athlete, but also a much better person,” Riley Aguiar wrote on Twitter. “This greatly affects myself and my teammates who have worked our whole lives to get to this university/team. Please don’t feed into lies that are hurting us.”
Allie Law also shared her thoughts on the allegations, saying “This program has been nothing besides outstanding & produces outstanding people because of the guidance our coaches provided for us. I pray people don’t give in to lies that went too far.”
UK Provost David W. Blackwell said the review found:
- Coaches knew or reasonably should have known of inappropriate conduct by cheerleaders and failed to take sufficient steps to address the conduct;
- During a team retreat at Lake Cumberland, some cheerleaders performed gymnastics routines that including hurling their teammates from a dock into the water while either topless or bottomless. The routines, known as “basket tosses,” were done at the direction of other members of the squad and within the view of at least some of the coaches;
- Coaches allowed cheerleading alumni to bring boats and alcohol to the retreat, where some cheerleaders were partially naked and/or drinking while riding on boats;
- Coaches did not confiscate alcohol brought to the retreat by some squad members or intervene to stop students from consuming alcohol. Several squad members became so intoxicated they required medical treatment; and
- During a cheerleading camp in Tennessee, some cheerleaders were directed by other members of the squad to perform lewd chants and wear outfits that did not include underwear.
However, there was no evidence of sexual assault or sexual misconduct during these trips.