The Coastal Carolina University cheerleading team has been suspended indefinitely pending a conduct investigation, according to a school official.
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.
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The website for the cheer team now redirects to 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 in connection to forgery.
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.
While police were searching for Chestnut, the Coastal Club property manager found video footage of Loader handing a gun to two males from her apartment in order to hide them from police, according to the report.
Chestnut fled the scene and was later found by the Horry County Bloodhound team and taken into custody.
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 also 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