Cheer team suspended
The Towson University cheerleading squad has been suspended for the 2013-14 academic year for violation of the hazing policy, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Deb Moriarty.
Moriarty said the team is currently appealing the ruling, but is not allowed to perform or practice during the appeal process. The official appeal is due next week, Moriarty said.
In a statement released by Towson, Moriarty said the University will not comment further on the situation until the appeal process is concluded.
The statement also says that the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education was informed of the hazing allegations anonymously on Aug. 6.
“Upon learning of these allegations, the university immediately launched a full investigation with the support and cooperation of the Athletics Department,” the statement read.
According to the University’s official hazing policy, hazing is defined as “any action taken or situation created intentionally, whether on or off campus, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Any mental or physical requirement, request or obligation placed upon any person that could cause pain, disgrace or injury, or is personally degrading or violates any federal, state, local statute or university policy is also considered hazing.”
Although cheerleading coach Edy Pratt declined to comment on the situation, senior cheerleader Lauren Crocetti said the team would just “…like the support of the University at this time.”
Former cheerleader Kaila Flood, who was a part of the team in 2011, said during her four years on the team no hazing took place.
“I was a part of that team for four years and was the captain for two,” Flood said in an email. “There never was a source of hazing before me, during, or once I left not one of those girls would ever participate in something like that. [They’re] good-hearted people it’s a shame what there are being accused of.”
There is no timetable for the appeal process, according to Moriarty.
The cheerleading team won a national championship last year, and had received an automatic bid for the 2014 national championship.
The Towerlight will update this story as more information becomes available.
- Jesse Jones contributed to this article