The University of Kansas cheer squad has been punished for an alleged hazing incident that included forced nudity and physical and emotional abuse.
Two members of the squad alleged last July that the group engaged in improper hazing and after an internal investigation, the university took action, according to The New York Post.
School officials determined that the squad violated the school’s policy on harm to persons and hazing and placed the team on probation lasting for one year starting last September.
The alleged incident occurred while the team was on campus participating in a children’s summer camp event. The junior members of the squad were forced to run up and down the stadium stairs and forced into small spaces while other members of the team made loud noises to unsettle them.
However, it was after team members took the others off campus to an abandoned house when things turned ugly.
The girls alleged that members were forced to answer questions and made to remove an article of clothing for every wrong answer. After the accusers were naked, blindfolds were removed to reveal that male alumni were in the room watching them removing their clothing.
“I had taken my blindfold off along with another girl sitting next to me, and two alumni guys walked in and saw us naked,” one of the women said in a May interview with the Kansas State Collegian.
Another said that the younger members of the team were them subjected to public shaming.
“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,” she said. “They sat us down with all the alumni and all returning cheerleaders.”
The accusers also said that it seemed as if the coaching staff and other team officials were fully aware of the hazing and that it had been going on for years.
One woman said she left the school because of the treatment she received.
“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,” the unnamed woman insisted.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.