The University of Kentucky has reportedly fired its entire cheerleading coaching staff following an investigation that revealed terrible behavior by multiple people.
Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio stated on Monday that all four of the school’s cheerleading coaches have been terminated.
“UK has fired its entire cheerleading coaching staff and longtime advisor after investigation reveals inappropriate conduct including alcohol use, hazing and public nudity,” he reported.
The investigation found inappropriate conduct by members of the cheerleading squad included hazing activities, alcohol use and public nudity.
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.
There was no evidence of sexual assault or sexual misconduct during these trips.
The University of Kentucky would soon release a statement:
“A three-month investigation found the coaching staff and administrative advisor 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.
Head Coach Jomo Thompson and Assistant Coaches Ben Head, Spencer Clan and Kelsey LaCroix were all relieved of their duties.
Kentucky’s president released a statement, as well.
“A commitment we make and renew every day at the University of Kentucky is that the success of our students is at the center of everything that we do. But for that sentiment to be more than words, we must always act in ways that honor that commitment — especially when we discover rare instances where those who supervise and guide our students don’t meet the standards of integrity we expect of each other. This is one of those times,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “The University of Kentucky has built the nation’s premier collegiate cheerleading program. But regrettably, the integrity of the program has been compromised by inappropriate behavior by some squad members on off-campus trips and by lax oversight by the program’s coaches and advisor.”
UK’s cheerleading program has won 24 national championships in the past 35 years.
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