Kansas University’s cheerleading squad was put on probation following accusations of hazing from two anonymous cheerleaders. The two cheerleaders said that as part of their initiation to the team they were blindfolded and taken, along four other first-year members, to an empty house where they were subjected to physical and mental abuse at the hands of older team members and alumni.
The two girls described their treatment in detail to the Kansas State Collegian. The hazing occurred last July, while the team was on campus for a children's summer camp. It started out innocuously, with the six new members forced to run sprints up and down a hill near the stadium. After the sprints, the girls were ordered to the ground where they were blindfolded and put into cars. The cars drove erraticly while blasting loud music through the speakers until they arrived at an empty house.
Once inside they were brought into a room and asked a series of questions. For every incorrect answer, they were forced to remove an article of clothing. Once they were completely naked, they were led to another room, where they were joined by a pair of male alumni.
"I had taken my blindfold off along with another girl sitting next to me, and two alumni guys walked in and saw us naked."
The girls said they were separated and berated by current members of the team about their appearance and cheering skills.
"And then they took me and two other girls, put us in a room together and told us we are ugly, we don’t deserve to be on the team and our skills weren’t good enough."
The two cheerleaders said that when they reported the incident to coaches their concerns were brushed off and they were told to move on because the older team members would not face punishment. They said it felt like they were being blamed for speaking up.
“They victim blamed the whole time, made excuses for the older girls and didn’t care a single bit about the victims."
One of the girls said that she decided to withdraw from the school as a result of her traumatizing experience, and the lack of a serious response from school officials.
"The reason why I’m leaving KU is solely because the university and the athletic department decided to treat me and my other teammates like we didn’t matter and were instead just pretty faces for the media."
Kansas University did not respond to the allegations citing student privacy concerns.
Photo: Getty Images