There are viral videos making their way around the Internet, showing a coach and cheerleaders at a cheerleading camp pushing down incoming freshmen into forced splits, with the girls crying and screaming in pain. The videos are difficult to watch, as the girls, surrounded by their new teammates and the recently-hired cheer coach from East High School in Denver, are forced into an extended split position.
The new cheerleading coach is apparently well-known as someone who did backflips on the field during Broncos and CU football games. He appears to be an incredible athlete – agile, quick, and flexible. He also appears to be an ignorant, abusive sack of donkey dung, who doesn’t understand that new athletes need to be trained correctly, and while a certain amount of soreness is expected from what is normally pretty brutal training, this goes above and beyond. Further, this guy Ozell Williams was apparently dismissed from yet another high school last year for doing exactly the same thing to his athletes!
[T]he owner of a gym in Brighton considered teaming up with Williams, but changed her mind after a week of watching him work with kids in her program.
“They would go to do things and if they would stop, like they would go into a tumbling pass and they would stop, and he would be like, ‘I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t do it next time,’” Julie Ledbetter said. “… You don’t tell kids you’re going to punch them in the face if they can’t pull the skill.”
Ledbetter said that she never saw any girls forced to do the splits but she also said she never left her athletes alone with Williams.