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Jomo Thompson releases statement in response to his firing from UK

Former UK Cheerleading coach Jomo Thompson

Former UK Cheerleading coach Jomo Thompson

For the first time since the details from a three-month investigation leading to his dismissal were announced, former Kentucky Cheerleading head coach Jomo Thompson has released a statement addressing the situation. Thompson released the statement on his Instagram account.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the overwhelming support that I and the other coaches have received over the past couple of weeks. The kind words from current and former cheerleaders, friends and fans of the sport made a difficult week bearable and truly lifted my spirits.

I have always and will continue to love the University of Kentucky and its cheer program. It’s where I won my first championships as an athlete and as a coach. Without the opportunities that the university has provided me, I would not be the person I am today. I truly appreciate my career at the University of Kentucky.

When I became the head coach in 2002, the cheer program was already renowned for its championship pedigree. However, real success for me was fostering the growth and development of these young adults to make them better human beings. Seeing our athletes live out the values we worked so hard to instill, absolute responsibility, good attitude, persistence, and most important, kindness, has been the greatest success of the cheer program.

And while I am proud of the years of success both in winning championships and helping the student-athletes fulfill their dreams, I do not agree with the manner in which my relationship with the University of Kentucky came to an end. I feel as though I should have been given more of an opportunity to present my perspective on the facts and events that have been reported. I feel that the lack of opportunity to respond was unfair. However, life is not always fair. If there is one lesson that I have left to teach the student-athletes, it is that even when life is unfair, you must accept the things you cannot change with the same amount of class and dignity that you would accept with the wins in life. It truly lights up my soul to know that I have the opportunity to spend over 20 years coaching you all to be champions both in our sport, and in life.

In closing, I’d like to express my gratitude for everyone I have had the pleasure of working with on the journey. To the parents, I hope you know I always tried to instill values that you would be proud to see in your beloved children. To the athletes, thank you for giving me your trust and dedication throughout the years. Seeing you succeed is what kept me motivated and proud. To my staff, thank you for standing beside me through it all. I am honored to have you all as partners. If there is one thing I want to be remembered for in this life, it’s not for the status or championships, but that I was a kind person. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you for your support.


Jomo K. Thompson

Thompson, along with members of his staff, was fired on May 18 after the conclusion of a three-month investigation by the University of Kentucky discovered evidence of student-athlete hazing, alcohol use, and public nudity during off-campus events. Since being named the head coach back in 2002, Thompson led the Kentucky Cheer squad to 18 of the program’s 24 national championships.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

11 Comments for Jomo Thompson releases statement in response to his firing from UK

  1. Ben27
    6:48 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    Wow! it is really difficult to understand this situation. I love and respect both sides. It is hard to understand how and why this has happened. I feel deeply sorry for both sides.

  2. BlueByYou
    6:50 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    IF…he did not get the opportunity to tell his side and be heard, UK dropped the ball. If any of this happened while coaches knew and UK could prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt, it was justified. No win for anyone

  3. UKfanman01
    6:56 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    You think Nick Saban, Dabo Sweeny, Coach K, Tom Izzo (sex abuse cover up) would EVER receive this type of punishment?

  4. BBNParkerCO
    6:58 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    Do not know Coach Thompson or anything about him but I do know that it is telling as to how one handles adversity. Based on the way Coach Thompson has handled this situation, it is probably safe to say that it will be a greater loss to the University than it is to Coach Thompson. However, I do understand his love and devotion to the University of Kentucky.

    Thank you coach for your years of service to UK, all the success you and the program achieved and for all the young men and women you help shape into successful, productive members of society, which is immeasurable. You sir will undoubtedly land on your feet and continue with unparalleled success with whatever path you choose to follow. Whoever employs you in the future, will be fortunate to have someone of your intelligence, integrity, work ethic and devotion. All my best wishes for you success.

  5. Dee
    7:02 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    This was 100% a political move (If all the facts have been brought to light)… and mistake. A connected family or booster was “upset”… so UK used this opportunity to make a change. I firmly believe UK overreached and overreacted. You can’t tell me the same types of don’t things occur on the men’s teams. No one was forced.

    UK will regret this if things stay the same.

    Again, this is if all facts have been released.

  6. JLP
    7:08 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    I only know what I read. I have no insider knowledge. But based upon my understanding of the situation, I think a suspension and probation with clear mandate to clean things up would have been more appropriate. Alcohol, topless nudity and such – considering the number and age of the cheerleaders – just doesn’t seem all that alarming. At a state university, most students find a way to drink before legal age. Topless nudity – big deal. Most states have official and unofficial nude beaches. From what I read, there were INSTANCES of behavior that maybe should not have occurred, but not most-of-the-time rampant patterns. It just seems like a total over-reaction on the part of the administration. We aren’t living in the Victorian era anymore. Tell the coac h to clean things up, slip on the wrist but with warning termination down the road if not rectified. Do I smell a lawsuit brewing?

  7. cathatter
    8:05 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    rather suspicious Jomo playing the victim card…..underage alcohol and hazing = big lawsuit, end of story.

  8. Bluebloodtoo
    8:38 pm May 29, 2020 Permalink

    This seems like an unfortunate situation. When a parent complains, you pretty much have to follow through. Those good ole days of looking the other way at small stuff are running out.

  9. classof68
    8:50 am May 30, 2020 Permalink

    I never read where any of the cheerleaders were reprimanded. If it was that bad, how do they get off the hook? The whole ordeal sounds too scorched earth to me. From that letter, it sounds like Thompson had a lot more class than most people in his position would have.

  10. bbn606
    11:04 am May 30, 2020 Permalink

    And I’m sure some of the cheerleaders need to be terminated also.

  11. njcat
    9:57 pm May 30, 2020 Permalink

    The administration really screwed the pouch on this one. The person who leveled the complaint had a history of complaining about everything… a real ‘Karen’ if you know what I mean.

    To not let a coach with 20 years of experience and excellence at the school even defend himself is dereliction of duty at best, and certainly cause to have your pants sued off. Fortunately for the wimps in the administration Jomo has too much class to go there – which they probably understood. He knows he’ll be fine wherever he ends up.

    I hope he wins the next 15 national championships at his next job.