Cheerleading Coaches Are Fired After Investigation

Kentucky finds squad's events included hazing, drinking, and nudity
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2020 5:35 PM CDT
Cheerleading Coaches Are Fired After Investigation
Kentucky cheerleaders perform during a basketball game against Mississippi State in Lexington in February.   (AP Photo/James Crisp)

"The University of Kentucky has built the nation’s premier collegiate cheerleading program," the school's president said Monday. "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." With that, Eli Capilouto announced the firing of the cheerleading coaching staff after an investigation into allegations of hazing and other misbehavior, USA Today reports. Head coach Jomo Thompson and all three assistant coaches were dismissed. T. Lynn Williamson, the program's adviser and a lawyer for the university, retired after finding out the three-month investigation was in progress. The school found "lax oversight and poor judgment" on Williamson's part, and he's to have no further contact with the cheerleaders.

A few cheerleaders defended their squad, which has won 24 national titles. "This program has been nothing besides outstanding & produces outstanding people because of the guidance our coaches provided for us," Allie Law tweeted. The school said the coaches "knew or reasonably should have known" about the misconduct and didn't do enough to stop it, per the Lexington Herald-Leader. UK found: At a cheerleading camp in Tennessee, some squad members were told by others to not wear underwear and do lewd chants. On a retreat, members threw topless or bottomless cheerleaders into a lake, within sight of the coaches. Alumni brought alcohol to the event, which the coaches didn't confiscate. Some cheerleaders were so intoxicated they needed medical attention. Partially naked team members cruised the lake in the alumni's boats. (More cheerleading stories.)

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