UT fires cheerleader implicated in Premier Athletics abuse scandal, Varsity Spirit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WVLT) – Several attorneys announced a Tennessee lawsuit in the athlete abuse scandal surrounding Memphis-based Varsity Spirit.

Attorneys filed a federal lawsuit in Memphis, naming multiple survivors and new attackers, including Tennessee Premier Athletics and athlete and coach Dominick Frizzell, a cheerleader at the University of Tennessee, representatives said. The lawsuit alleges that the inappropriate behavior, such as sending messages and photos to minor athletes, took place at Premier’s gym until September 2022.

Specifically, the suit alleges that Frizzell was allowed to “emotionally, physically and sexually exploit and abuse Defendant Premier’s young athletes, all while under the control and alleged authority of Defendants Varsity Brands, LLC.” In doing so, attorneys allege that Premier Athletics and Varsity failed to create a safe environment for their athletes.

WVLT News reached out to the university, and officials confirmed that Frizzell was suspended from the cheer program on Sept. 16 and fired on Sept. 27.

The lawsuit alleges that Premier Athletics and other companies allowed minors to be served drugs and alcohol, and adults to send sexually explicit messages to minors.

“We are very disappointed that Premier Athletics was inaccurately implicated in a press conference regarding a lawsuit filed in Knoxville West Memphis, Tennessee,” Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter, the law firm representing Premier Athletics, said in a statement.

The statement said the company became aware of claims in June 2022 about Frizzell sending inappropriate photos to an athlete. “No photocopies or screenshots were provided to substantiate this claim.” read the statement, and that local law enforcement and the USASF were immediately notified.

Officials with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the investigation into Frizzell is ongoing, but could not provide further details.

Frizzell’s attorney, Don Bosch, said they are denying all the allegations against Frizzell.

Victims’ attorneys include civil rights attorneys Bakari Sellers, Jessica Fickling and Alexandra Benevento (Strom Law Firm) and Tennessee State Representatives John Ray Clemmons and J. Michael Clemons.

“This case makes it clear that we are not talking about an isolated incident in South Carolina,” Sellers said. “Enabled and hidden by Varsity Spirit, the USA All Star Federation (USASF) and Bain Capital, this is a nationwide epidemic of abuse infecting all competitive cheerleading.”

Varsity Spirit is expanding, according to a release, by building a new headquarters and investing in uniform suppliers.

“We’re talking about a financial empire based on physical, emotional and sexual abuse,” Clemmons said. “As these companies announce hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments to grow this empire, these young athletes are being abused and, instead of protecting them, Varsity Spirit, USASF and USA Cheer either ignored and dismissed these allegations or simply let them go quietly. to the attackers. transfer to a new gym or facility without the parents knowing the truth.”

“This is big and it’s getting bigger,” Benevento said. “Our clients deserve justice and we will make sure they get it.”

It comes as South Carolina’s Rockstar Cheer is facing allegations from six young athletes who say they were abused.

Authorities in Cobb County, GA initially told the media that they were investigating the Cobb County Stingray All Stars organization after allegations of sexual abuse occurred there. When WVLT News contacted the Cobb County Police Department, they said they could not confirm what entity was investigating, only that it was a minor sexual abuse investigation.

Stingray representatives denied the claims. The Stingray also sent out a note to parents, letting them know that “on Monday evening we were brought to the attention of 2019-2021 Nick Frizzell Steel Athlete for alleged inappropriate behavior.” The notice is below:

Stingray representatives issued another statement, again denying the allegations, saying no disorderly conduct occurred at their training facilities.

“We have never received any allegations of misconduct at our training facilities,” the statement said.

You can read the full lawsuit against Premier Athletics and Frizzell below.

Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.

What does UCA stand for in cheer?

About Universal Cheerleaders Association Today, UCA is the largest cheerleading camp company in the world, offering the widest range of dates and locations of any camp. See the article : NFL world reacts to Cowboys cheerleaders swimsuit photos.

Is it owned by UCA Varsity?

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What brands does varsity own?

Varsity Brands is a portfolio of three brands: BSN Sports, Herff Jones and Varsity Spirit, whose products and programs celebrate academic and athletic achievement. Read also : Who will the Panthers starting quarterback in week 1?.

Is Varsity owned by Usasf? Is Varsity Spirit owned by USASF? no USASF is an independent non-profit organization.

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