South Carolina college cheerleaders embroiled in accusations of prostitution went on dates for up to $1,500 but did not have sex for money, according to a report.
The cheer squad at Coastal Carolina University, outside Myrtle Beach, gained national attention late last month when it was suspended after administrators received an anonymous letter about the supposed salacious behavior.
Among the allegations were claims that cheerleaders bought alcohol for underage teammates, paid others to do their homework, worked in strip clubs and engaged in prostitution, one team member told local media.
However, an investigative report published by WMBF from CCU said that the young women were not prostitutes, but ran an escort operation through seekingarrangement.com, a “sugar daddy” website for women to meet wealthy men.
The women reportedly received between $100 and $1,500 per date with unnamed men, and also got designer-brand purses, shoes and clothes.
At least one cheerleader worked as a “shot girl” at a strip club, though text messages referenced in the investigation showed that she was told to quit until after a national competition.
The cheerleading team, which included several young women who were not aware of the escort website, has been banned from competition by its school, though the students still attend class.
Coastal Carolina’s team had been preparing to go to a national competition in Florida, but is still banned despite the Thursday report distancing them from claims of prostitution.
A lawyer for five of the students told WMBF that her clients had “become victims of these baseless claims from an anonymous source.”
The CCU report said the letter was sent by a graying, heavy-set man seen on surveillance video wearing cargo shorts.