CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – About a week after the entire Coastal Carolina University cheerleading squad was suspended indefinitely, a lawyer representing five of the cheerleaders says the university’s actions are based on “unsubstantiated accusations.”
A statement from CCU Vice President University Communication and Marketing William Plate, Jr., confirms that the entire squad has been “suspended indefinitely pending a conduct investigation.”
The university official could not go into detail regarding what type of “conduct” led to the action, nor could Plate explain whether the investigation involves every member of the squad or specific squad members. Plate did say that the CCU Department of Public Safety is conducting the investigation.
Amy Lawrence with the Lovely Law Firm in Myrtle Beach released a statement on behalf of five of the cheerleaders she represents. Lawrence says she looks forward to working on the women’s behalf:“Last week, Coastal Carolina University took unprecedented measures against the entire cheerleading team, based solely on unsubstantiated accusations. I am shocked and saddened to see these girls become victims of these baseless claims from an anonymous source.Even more disheartening is that these girls were not permitted due process in their own defense to show just how outlandish and ridiculous these allegations truly are. The Coastal Carolina Cheerleading team is full of bright, athletic, good, teal bleeding women and men who genuinely love their school. I look forward to working on behalf of these girls to defend and uphold their integrity and bring the truth to light.” – Amy Lawrence
As of March 30, the CCU Cheerleading webpage has been taken down and the link has been redirected to the CCU Spirit Team page. It’s unclear, however, when the investigation began. Plate could not estimate how long the process should take.
On March 31, the CCU cheerleaders created a new Twitter account and released a statement. A photo of the statement was Tweeted from the @CCUCheer4L account. The statement reads:
At this point in time, we no longer wish to be contacted about the current situation. The false accusations have led to harassment on campus as well as through social media, and are beginning to negatively impact our daily lives as well as our studies. As a team we ask the community to support us through these tough times as we hope the situation will be cleared up shortly.
Love, The Coastal Carolina Cheerleading Team
News13 spoke with one of the CCU cheerleaders who explained the @CCUCheer4L account was created because none of the cheerleaders have access to the university’s official Twitter accounts, and members of the cheer squad were reportedly told to have no contact with the coaches.
The cheer squad has received some support on the new Twitter account.