University of Kentucky fires cheerleading coaches after hazing and public nudity investigation

Staff ‘failed to provide reasonable oversight during off-campus events’

James Crump
Tuesday 19 May 2020 17:31 BST
Kentucky Wildcat cheerleaders in 2019
Kentucky Wildcat cheerleaders in 2019 ((Getty Images))

The University of Kentucky has fired its whole cheerleading staff, after inappropriate conduct, including public nudity, alcohol use and hazing were alleged to take place at team retreats.

An investigation into the claims found that four coaches and an advisor “failed to provide reasonable oversight during off-campus events,” according to a press release published by the university.

Head coach Jomo Thompson and assistants Ben Head, Spencer Clan and Kelsey LaCroix were fired after the investigation was concluded, according to CNN.

Additionally, T Lynn Williamson, a team advisor, who was found to have “lax oversight and poor judgement” by the university, retired days after they were made aware of the investigation.

Allegations revealed in the investigation centred around retreats that the cheerleaders attended, where they were accompanied by the coaches.​

At one retreat, based at a camp in Tennessee, members of the team were told by other cheerleaders to perform lewd chants and routines, without wearing underwear.

The investigation revealed that at another retreat, based at Lake Cumberland, cheerleaders performed routines, which involved tossing members into a lake from a dock, while they were topless or bottomless and in view of some of the staff members.

Former team members were also found to have have brought boats and alcohol to the retreat, where multiple cheerleaders required treatment for excessive alcohol intake.

According to the investigation, the coaches were aware of the alcohol use, but did not do anything to stop them.

Eric N Monday, the university’s executive vice president for finance and administration, said in a release that the cheerleaders should have had better care.

“The advisor and the coaches failed to stop a culture of hazing, alcohol use and public nudity at off-campus activities where they were present,” he said.

“Our students deserve more responsible leadership and the University of Kentucky demands it,” Mr Monday added.

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