Last Monday, assistant cheerleading coach Latoya Asia J.D. ’09 officially resigned, citing a busy course load and other outside commitments. But in an e-mail to the cheerleading squad shortly after her resignation, Asia said her decision to quit was also the result of disrespect she experienced from some members of the Athletics Department during a trip to New Hampshire for a football game over fall break.
The e-mail was forwarded to The Flat Hat by a cheerleader under the condition of anonymity.
“The way that I was treated was absolutely unacceptable and ridiculous. Certain members of the Athletics Department displayed profane and unprofessional behavior, completely disregarding the fact that I actually have feelings,” Asia said in the e-mail. “I have never quit anything in my life, so this decision was very difficult. However, I cannot continue to work with people when I do not feel welcome.”
Asia declined to comment for this story.
According to her e-mail, some of the cheerleaders who went on the trip were also mistreated.
“The cheerleaders on the trip also experienced disrespect and attitude from an individual who was sent to ‘watch’ us on the trip,” Asia said.
Team captains Nicole Lawson ’09, Addison Porter ’09 and Britney Gleason ’09, who were on the New Hampshire trip, all declined to comment.
“I wasn’t aware of her having friction with the department,” Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations Pete Clawson said in an e-mail.
Clawson declined to comment on Asia’s e-mail.
Another cheerleader speaking on the condition of anonymity said Asia reported a misunderstanding concerning a meeting scheduled with members of the Athletics Department following the resignation of the squad’s head coach last month. According to the cheerleader, that misunderstanding may have created tension between Asia and the department.
Asia’s resignation almost prevented the team from performing stunts at this weekend’s Homecoming football game, but a replacement coach, Lisa Garwood, has been found, and the squad can now perform stunts.
Without a certified coach, the cheerleading squad cannot perform any stunts for insurance reasons. A cheerleading routine is usually a combination of dance, gymnastics and stunting. A stunt is defined as any move a cheerleader performs in the air.
“A situation had arisen this past spring when we lost a different coach,” the cheerleader who forwarded the e-mail said. The squad then was not permitted to stunt for any of the spring basketball games, including the CAA tournament.