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UK cheerleading coaches fired after hazing investigation

The school has fired all four of its cheerleading coaches. 

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

On Monday, a bombshell dropped in the world of University of Kentucky cheerleading, as the school fired head cheerleading coach, Jomo Thompson, and assistants Ben Head, Spencer Clan, and Kelsey LaCroix, after a three-month long investigation to their program.

The investigation began in February when a family member called and filed a complaint about the lack of oversight from coaches during off-campus trips. The investigation allegedly composed of interviews with 60+ students, coaches, and administrators in the program.

The accusations consisted of the following:

* 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 stunts, known as basket tosses, were done at the direction of other members of the squad and within coaches view;

* Coaches allowed cheerleading alumni to bring boats and alcohol to the lake 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.

* The investigation also uncovered potential conflicts of interest for two members of the coaching staff who ran gymnastics businesses that employed members of the cheerleading squad and the advisor, who hired students and coaches to perform work at his home.

The investigation found no evidence of sexual assault or sexual misconduct during these trips, but allegedly the lack of oversight from coaches from both Blue and White teams is believed to have been an ongoing issue for several years.

The University of Kentucky cheerleading squad has won 24 national titles in years 1985, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, which is more than any other Division 1A school.

Read more on the official press release here.

UK officials then took to a press conference to address the situation on WKYT.

LIVE: UK fires cheerleading coaches after hazing investigation

UK officials will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. to discuss the firing of all four of its cheerleading coaches. More>>

Posted by WKYT on Monday, May 18, 2020