Cheerleading head coach Jomo Thompson and assistant coaches Ben Head, Spencer Clan and Kelsey LaCroix were all fired following the investigation, which found incidents of inappropriate routines, partially-clothed cheerleaders and alcohol abuse had taken place under the coaches’ stewardship during off-campus events.
According to a press release from the university, the three-month investigation saw that the coaches had “failed to provide reasonable oversight during off-campus events.”
The investigation uncovered a host of misconduct, including cheerleaders being encouraged to perform while partially nude, and excessive consumption of alcohol that led to some cheerleaders requiring medical treatment.
Cheerleaders performed “basket tosses,” where they are thrown up into the air, while either topless or bottomless, within the view of some of the coaching staff.
Another incident saw the cheerleaders directed by other members to wear outfits without underwear and perform inappropriate chants, while there were incidents involving excessive alcohol consumption.
“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,” said Eric N. Monday, the university’s executive vice president for finance and administration.
“Our students deserve more responsible leadership and the University of Kentucky demands it.”
The investigation was started by a family member of one cheerleaders flagged inappropriate conduct during an off-campus trip.
The University of Kentucky’s cheerleading program is one of the best in the United States, with the institution winning 24 national championships during the past 35 years. The team had won the last four national titles, from 2016 to 2019.