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Entire Cheerleading Team Suspended because of Anonymous Letter that Alleged Prostitution

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Published on: April 1, 2017

An entire cheerleading team has been suspended after an anonymous letter was sent to Coastal Carolina University alleging the members were engaged in “a long list of things,” including prostitution, purchasing alcohol for underage team members, and paying others to complete their homework assignments, but no evidence of that allegations exists.

One of the cheerleaders said that an investigator with CCU Department of Public Safety came to the cheerleader practice on Wednesday evening and informed them of the March 7th letter, which was mailed to school president David DeCenzo.

WMBF News reports:

According to the cheerleader, the team was met by police outside the HTC Center after practice, who called the names of individual team members, and took them to CCU’s police station for questioning. During the questioning, the cheerleader said police searched through their cell phones. She said officers then told them they could leave around 11 p.m., after telling them they did nothing wrong.

There are currently no incident reports pertaining to the conduct investigation, CCU Vice President of Communications William M. Plate Jr. stated.

The cheerleading section of the CCU Athletics website, which once featured pictures of each member of the squad, has been removed from the website, and now directs to the school’s main Spirit Team page.

The HTC Center confirmed that a cheerleading showcase scheduled for April 4 is no longer on the center’s schedule for the week. The showcase was to be held ahead of the team’s scheduled appearance at a national competition in Florida.

The cheerleader said they were told they will no longer be able to attend the competition in Daytona Beach, Florida. Officials with the competition said the team is still registered and paid in full, and they have not heard the team will not be coming. Team members raised money for their own travel expenses to the competition, and are now upset that they are unable to attend, the cheerleader said.

WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Interestingly enough, Horry County Police have not gotten involved.  Yet, the ban remains in place and the ridiculous nature of the ban, considering there is no evidence to support the actions of the school are suspicious.

In fact, an uncle of one of the cheerleaders spoke to WJBF and thought it was strange that such action would be taken based simply on an anonymous letter.

William Walker said, “I asked her several times, are you sure there’s nobody that could have been doing that? And she said no, absolutely not.”

“I thought that sounded a little ridiculous that somebody on an anonymous letter would completely disrupt and destroy the program,” he added.

Some family and cheerleaders took to social media to condemn the school for its handling of the situation.

LaCole Gadson,  a parent of one of the cheerleaders tweeted, “I would like to state that the athletic director treats the cheerleaders unfairly.  Less than a week away from competition and Coastal is stopping the girls from going with no valid reason.”

One tweeted, “And just like that, everything you’ve ever worked for was just taken in a blink of an eye.”

Athletic Director Matt Hogue, Martha Hunn, Associate Vice President of Communications, and the CCU Department of Public Safety have all been reached out to for more information, but the most that has been said is that they confirm the letter existed and that an investigation is taking place.

So, without any reason to ban the cheerleaders from competition and remove them from the website, the school is in full investigative mode and punishment when no evidence of allegations exist. This sounds to me like they are setting themselves up for a lawsuit.

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