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Kentucky fires its cheerleading coaches after investigation



The University of Kentucky cheerleading squad is among the best in the nation. (Photo courtesy UK Athletics)

The University of Kentucky dismissed its cheerleading coaching staff Monday after a three-month investigation revealed a lack of oversight for the squad.

“The adviser and the coaches failed to stop a culture of hazing, alcohol use and public nudity at off-campus activities where they were present,” said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance and administration, in a news conference. “Our students deserve more responsible leadership and the University of Kentucky demands it.”

Head coach Jomo Thompson, assistants Ben Head, Spencer Clan and Kelsey LaCroix, and adviser T. Lynn Williamson have all been dismissed, according to the school.

The allegations that led to the dismissal largely stem from a retreat at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. According to the report, cheerleaders engaged in the use of alcohol and public nudity, including an activity called “basket tosses” where members of the team were thrown from a dock while topless or not wearing bottoms.

The report also stated that all of the inappropriate acts were done in front of staff members. Some of the cheerleaders had to have medical treatment after consuming too much alcohol, which was brought to the retreat by former members.

No cheerleaders have been dismissed; however they will undergo anti-hazing and sexual misconduct or harassment training.

The Kentucky cheerleading program is one of the best in the nation, and they now have to find a new staff to lead their team. The program has won 24 national titles in 35 years.

The school has already launched a national search to replace Thompson and other staff members. Williamson, the adviser and principal deputy general counsel at Kentucky, retired shortly after the investigation had started.


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