The Coastal Carolina University cheerleading team released a statement Friday afternoon, after the team was suspended indefinitely pending a conduct investigation, according to a school official.
The team is asking for respect in their decisions at the time, stating that the accusations are false.
The full statement reads as:
“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.”
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Love, The Coastal Carolina Cheerleading Team
Vice President of University Communications William Plate Jr. was unwilling to go into details of the allegations against the cheerleading team.
“At this time, we can only confirm the suspension because this is an ongoing investigation,” Plate said in an email.
TV station WMBF, citing an anonymous cheerleader, reported that the team was suspended following a letter mailed to Coastal Carolina University President Dave DeCenzo alleging that the cheerleaders were engaging in prostitution, buying alcohol for minors and paying others to do their homework.
The website for the cheer team now redirects to the CCU Athletics’ spirit page.
The team, which is coached by Marla Sage and falls under the athletics department, was scheduled to perform at a national cheerleading competition in Daytona Beach, Fla., in April.
Neither Coastal athletics spokesman Mike Cawood nor director of athletics Matt Hogue would comment on the investigation.
One cheerleader contacted by The Sun News declined to comment.
At least one former member of the 2016-17 CCU cheerleading team has been arrested this year.
In January, former cheerleader Madison Marie Loader was arrested by Coastal Carolina Police and charged with accessory after the fact to a felony.
According to a police report, she was living in the Coastal Club Apartments near CCU with her boyfriend at the time, Desman Earl Chestnut, who was wanted in Lexington County on a fraud charge.
Police approached Chestnut and stated they had warrants for his arrest, and Chestnut pushed one of the officers to the ground and fled the scene, according to the report. Chestnut was found four hours later by the Horry County Bloodhound team and taken into custody.
Police returned to Coastal Club Apartments and viewed video footage of Loader handing a gun to two unidentified males who entered her apartment through the balcony.
During an interview with police, Loader said she called “papi the jug” to come retrieve narcotics and guns from the apartment, according to the report.
On top of the Lexington County warrants, Chestnut was charged with assault on a police officer while resisting arrest, distribution of marijuana and distribution of a controlled substance within proximity of a school. Chestnut was banned from all CCU property including the Coastal Club Apartments, according to the report.
Chestnut was previously arrested in November 2016 in Horry County and charged with possession, manufacture and trafficking of methamphetamine and cocaine base according to police booking records.
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian