Sports

Coastal Carolina Cheerleading Team Indefinitely Suspended After Anonymous Prostitution Allegations [Updated]

On anonymous allegations, the school said they cannot attend a national competition next month, for which they fundraised for travel expenses.
March 31, 2017, 6:40pm

The entire Coastal Carolina University cheerleading team was suspended pending a school Department of Public Safety investigation pertaining to allegations that team members were peddling prostitution, among a long list of other accusations of misconduct, according to South Carolina station WMBF-TV. The suspension is indefinite and, according to what an anonymously-sourced cheerleader from the team told WMBF, the allegations came from an anonymous letter.

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According to the cheerleader, some of the allegations, which are detailed in WMBF's report, included purchasing alcohol for underage team members, and paying to have their homework done. Several cheerleaders were pulled from practice into taken in for questioning, at which point police allegedly searched through team members' cell phones.

The report says the school's decision to suspend the team on what appears to be anonymous allegations alone—which sits in stark contrast to many schools' policies about their lauded sports programs—will prevent the cheerleading team from traveling to Florida next month for a national competition, for which they fundraised for travel expenses. According to the report, the school told them that they would not be able to attend, despite already being registered.

UPDATED, April 7:

An investigation by campus police revealed that while several cheerleaders were found to have been working at strip clubs and/or going on dates in exchange for money via the legal website Seeking Arrangements, no one was found to have broken any laws, according to FOIA records obtained by Deadspin on Friday. The investigation revealed that some of the cheerleaders were making between $500 and $1,500 per date, and would go on dates as far as North Carolina. But the cheerleaders questioned—five of six of them detailed their Seeking Arrangements dates—claimed that they never had sex for money, and no evidence turned up to substantiate that they had.

CCU campus police investigator Michelyn Pylilo says that the investigation is ongoing. The school has yet to lift their indefinite suspension of the team, and has not given an explanation for what school rules have been broken.