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Friday, October 31, 2014

Louisville Denies That Safety Concerns Are Reason Cheerleaders Aren’t Going to West Virginia Game

Louisville’s cheerleaders and dance team will not be accompanying the football team on its trip to Morgantown for Saturday’s game against West Virginia. This news became a story when one Louisville cheerleader said her squad was not making the trip because of safety concerns.

“Cheer and Birds can’t go to WVU because it’s not a safe enough environment due to fans. West Virginia should be embarrassed,” cheerleader Lindsey Sitzlar wrote on Twitter.

Sitzlar told a West Virginia fan that the reason was “not random or baseless,” because four fans were sent to hospital, and cheerleaders have had liquor bottles thrown at them on recent trips. She also says the school had the cheer and dance teams leave in the fourth quarter to avoid problems.

A school keeping its cheer and dance teams from traveling to a game because of concerns about the environment is a pretty serious condemnation. We decided to call Louisville to see if the story was true.

While the school’s sports information department confirmed that neither squad will make the trip to West Virginia, they said safety concerns were not the reason.

LBS was told that it’s not unusual for the cheer and dance teams to miss an away game. We were told that they could miss a game because of other events (e.g. scheduling conflicts), financial issues, travel restrictions (if it’s difficult to get to the game), academic limitations, squad size restrictions, or because of the crowd size of Louisville fans at an opposing game.

While those are all legitimate reasons for the squads being unable to make a trip, Louisville was unable to explain why the teams would not be traveling to Morgantown this weekend. They also said that the rumor that administrators would not be making the trip was false.

We understand there are many reasons the cheer and dance teams are not making the trip this weekend. Even if they won’t admit it, safety concerns seem legitimate. It’s also curious that they weren’t able to explain why.



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