UCO continues investigation of cheer team after reports of hazing

The UCO cheer team has been suspended for the remainder of the school year, the office of president Neuhold-Ravikumar announced Saturday morning in a campus email.

The cheer team will not be allowed to participate in national competitions for two years, Neuhold-Ravikumar said in the statement.

“Recently, the university was made aware of reports of hazing on the UCO cheer team,” Neuhold-Ravikumar said. “Reports of hazing are approached swiftly and with great concern for the safety and well-being of our students.”

President Neuhold-Ravikumar said the ongoing investigation, handled by the UCO Office of Student Conduct and Title IX, was conducted “promptly upon receiving notice” of reports of hazing. 

The university confirmed to The Vista that there is no criminal investigation regarding the allegations at this time.

Student-athletes who are found responsible for hazing could face removal from the team and suspension from the university. Athletes who are found innocent will “undergo a membership review process” and may be able to try out for the team again next year, Neuhold-Ravikumar said.

“Training on hazing and bystander intervention practices will be required for the UCO cheer team and for the leadership of all student organizations,” Neuhold-Ravikumar said.

UCO has not released the names of any athletes associated with acts of hazing.

The Vista contacted the office of Neuhold-Ravikumar but was told that she was unable to discuss the allegations due to the ongoing investigation.

The Vista reached out to numerous cheer athletes, each of whom expressed that they were not at liberty to discuss the allegations.

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