The attorney for a group of Coastal Carolina cheerleaders said in a news release late Thursday she’s “disgusted and angered” that the university released what she called “an incomplete investigation to the media that paints the women of the Cheerleading Team as prostitutes with the broadest of strokes.”
The cheerleading team was suspended last week after an investigation came to light following an anonymous letter dated March 8 from a “concerned parent.” The letter alleges members of the cheer team worked as strippers and escorts.
According to a CCU investigation report obtained by The Sun News through a Freedom of Information request, cheerleaders involved in the escort services were paid between $100 and $1,500 per date. The investigation found that 11 cheerleaders were aware of the escort service and seven were not aware, CCU reported.
Amy S. Lawrence with The Lovely Law Firm is representing a group of cheerleaders. She said Thursday evening the university’s approach “goes to the heart of what is wrong with the University and its inadequate treatment of women, not only in sports but on campus.”
Lawrence said her clients gave full statements today to an investigator, and it was confirmed “that the ‘prostitution’ allegations involved five women, one of which was not a student, nor a cheerleader, that was participating in a dating website where men paid them for just that, dating.”
No one has been charged, no arrests have been made, Lawrence said.
“ … And a lot of really wonderful, kind, smart women have been smeared in the public eye yet again, at the hand of the University they love and their parents entrusted their wellbeing.”
Lawrence said CCU made another “knee jerk reaction” and said the website the girls were using is completely legal. Four of the 26 members of the cheerleading team participated in the site, she said.
“Would this ever happen to a Male Sports Team?” Lawrence wrote in a news release. “… Coastal Carolina needs to take a very long hard look at how they inappropriately treat women across the board.”