The University of Kentucky Cheer community is not going down without a fight. Today, UK Cheerleading alumni sent out a joint statement in support of former head coach Jomo Thompson, assistant coaches Ben Head, Spencer Clan, and Kelsey LaCroix, and longtime advisor T. Lynn Williamson. On Monday, UK fired the coaching staff for failure to provide reasonable oversight during off-campus events, where hazing, alcohol use, and public nudity were alleged to have taken place.
“To say the UK cheerleading advisor and coaches lack integrity is insulting,” the statement says. “To suggest that the advisor and coaches didn’t provide proper oversight is absurd. To so harshly penalize a program — especially one that has led such an exemplary existence for four-plus decades — is unfair!”
The statement was signed by over 500 cheer alumni. You can read it in full below:
ICYMI yesterday, four cheerleaders spoke to KSR about the allegations and the university’s decision to terminate the staff, including one of the current team members that was caught drinking at the retreat. Each testified to the coaching staff’s strict alcohol policy, Thompson’s culture of “absolute responsibility,” and how the program positively impacted their lives. Some even questioned the university’s motives for clearing house.