After three months of excessive investigation, the University of Kentucky fired its entire team of coaches who used to train one of the best cheer divisions in the U.S.
Head coach Jomo Thompson and assistants Ben Head, Spencer Clan, and Kelsey LaCroix were fired for failing to regulate off-campus events such as public nudity, alcohol consumption, and hazing. The representatives of the university officially announced this on May 18th.
A retreat at a Kentucky lake camp during the summer of 2019 was filled with all kinds of inappropriate fun among the cheerleading squad. The members were wearing cheerleader outfits with no underwear, performing “lewd chants” and performed the so-called “basket tosses” routines — throwing their half-nude teammates into the lake. The cheerleaders also got drunk to the point where the required medical attention.
The coaches witnessed a good portion of these activities, but none of them has done anything to stop it. The investigation was not kind on a longtime primary adviser T. Lynn Williamson, Kentucky’s principal deputy general counsel either, accusing him of “lax oversight and poor judgment.” Williamson retired days after the investigation started, and was told to not contact the squad, reports the Daily Mail.
More than 60 squad members, including the coaches and administrative staff, were interviewed during the internal investigation. The university concluded that no cases of sexual assault or sexual misconduct took place during the cheerleading squad’s summer retreat.
Thompson, Head, Clan, and LaCroix were all supposed to put an end to the inappropriate behavior, according to the Kentucky President Eli Capilouto. “They failed to take sufficient steps to address the conduct,” he said during his online press-conference. “They did not act in ways that would protect the health, safety, and well-being of our students who were entrusted to their care. This is not who we are at the University of Kentucky. This is not what we do.”
The University of Kentucky’s cheerleading program has won 24 national titles in 35 years, making them one of the best in their field. Right now they are searching for a new coach under the supervision of associate director Sandy Bell.