Mac Engel

TCU puts cheerleading coach on administrative leave

TCU Horned Frogs cheerleaders celebrate after the men's basketball team defeated SMU during the 2017-'18 season; TCU cheerleading coach, Mickey Farris, has been placed on administrative leave and is currently being investigated by the school.
TCU Horned Frogs cheerleaders celebrate after the men's basketball team defeated SMU during the 2017-'18 season; TCU cheerleading coach, Mickey Farris, has been placed on administrative leave and is currently being investigated by the school. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

For the second time in 2018, the TCU athletic department has placed a coach on administrative leave.

According to sources, TCU has placed cheerleading coach Mickey Farris on leave as it investigates multiple complaints from members of the coed squad.

A letter from TCU athletics marketing director Drew Martin was sent to all of the members of the cheerleading squad stating that the coach had been put on leave, and that officials could not comment on it until the matter is resolved.

Most of the concerns focused on a lack of communication from the coach about individual performance. Some cheerleaders were also unaware that they had access to the free meals available to athletes.

Farris did not respond to an interview request.

TCU basketball ran through drills during a 40-minute shoot-around at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Thursday afternoon, March 15, 2018. The TCU pep band and cheerleaders were on hand too. TCU plays Syracuse on Friday night.

One member of the squad said she suffered a concussion during a performance last fall, but was denied immediate treatment by a student trainer, who was unaware that she should be treated under TCU's policy. Another TCU cheerleading coach, Lindsay Westbrook, forced the issue and the student was quickly evaluated. That should be the norm.

TCU's cheerleading squad does not cheer competitively, and it falls under the marketing department. For a long time it was a part of TCU's Fine Arts department.

This is not the first time Farris and Westbrook have received some complaints. During TCU's two-overtime win against Baylor in Fort Worth in November 2015, members of the TCU Showgirls and cheerleading squads were inadequately dressed for the freezing rain and 30-degree temperatures.

Both coaches were essentially called to the principal's office for that one.

This is the second time in the spring semester the TCU athletic department put a coach on administrative leave.

The first was swimming and diving coach Sam Busch, who was placed on leave on Feb. 3 amid allegations of abusive and unbecoming behavior. Busch, who was in his first year as the TCU swimming and diving coach, "resigned" on Feb. 18, although it was made clear he was going to be fired.

The department hired former George Washington University swimming and diving coach James Winchester in late April.

The position of cheerleading coach and swimming and diving coach are not treated the same; Farris' job is an hourly, part-time position.

The department has been evaluating the overall state of its spirit programs and how to update it.

Department officials said there is no timetable to conclude the investigation.

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