Cheer coach to step down officially in May

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    Although the appeal process that followed last semester’s dismissal of cheerleading coach Jeff Tucker came to a close, both sides of the issue are still refusing to discuss the specifics surrounding the initial removal.Tucker was dismissed from his coaching capacity in October, but the reasons behind the dismissal were not made available because of an appeal process Tucker invoked to contest the action.

    “About all I can say is that the (appeal) process is an interesting process,” Tucker said. “It’s a good process; it’s good that it’s at TCU. As far as what physically came of it, the response I’ll give you is we sat down – we came up with a resolution for both sides. I’m happy with it.”

    As a result of the process, Tucker said, he has technically not been fired but is instead leaving at the end of the semester.

    “Let me put one thing to bed,” Tucker said. “I’m not terminated from the university; I’ll officially resign in May. I’m pretty much moving on from there.”

    Though he will officially remain on staff for another three months, Tucker said, he will not coach the cheerleading team and is not working in any official capacity with the university.

    Scott Kull, associate athletics director for external operations, who oversaw both Tucker and the team before the dismissal, also refused to comment on the reasons behind the initial removal but was able to confirm that Tucker would not be filling any role at TCU.

    Though specific stunts performed last semester came under safety questions following a confrontation at a TCU football game between Tucker and Kull, neither of the two would comment on the role those stunts played in October’s dismissal. Tucker said his regulations and policies have always been in concurrence with national guidelines.

    “For a long time it was never an issue – five years it was never an issue,” Tucker said. “I don’t know why it became an issue all of the sudden.

    “I think the guidelines I followed were National Cheer Association guidelines, Universal Cheer Association guidelines and the safety policies that we followed were not only what we used in competition but also what we used on the fields. I think they were an extremely safe group of kids.”

    Despite the action in October, Tucker said, he harbors no ill will toward TCU administration.

    “Not on this side; not from where I’m standing,” Tucker said.

    Though Kull said the administration is still actively searching for a replacement for Tucker and expects to have one hired before the end of May, the cheerleading team will not compete for the duration of the semester.

    Tucker said he thinks such a suspension is a disappointment for the cheerleaders.

    “Well, in the process of fair and unfair, no, it’s not,” Tucker said. “A lot of those kids have put forth a lot of energy over the years … I think it’s really sad that there is a speed bump. Does that mean they’ll never compete again? I hope not. I hope that they get a good, caring coach who wants to come in and nurture that.