UPDATE (April 26, 12:05 p.m.): JMU athletics reached out to The Breeze to clarify its policy of evaluating coaches. There's a continual evaluation process with every program that uses several methods to gather feedback. The process of evaluating Hoppert was ongoing before the anonymous letter was sent.
Amanda Hoppert, the head coach for JMU cheerleading, has stepped down from her position after accusations of unethical behavior with athletes, parents and donors.
In an anonymous letter obtained by The Breeze — which supposedly came from concerned alumni, donors, parents and past/present collegiate athletes — Hoppert is accused of causing physical, emotional, financial and academic harm to athletes and their families. The letter also calls Hoppert’s qualifications into question.
JMU athletics released a statement saying they are conducting a national search for the open position. Tyler Bradley, a JMU cheer alumnus and part-time assistant coach, will serve as interim head coach.
In the letter, it states Hoppert allowed members who weren’t academically eligible to travel with the team to the FCS Playoffs. An anonymous source confirmed this.
The source also confirmed Hoppert shared athletes’ academic standing with others, which violates NCAA rules and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
The letter discloses a situation involving Hoppert where she spoke “poorly about and laughed about a male member of the team, traded information about teammates with athletes and engaged in ‘rumor mill’/gossip.” The athlete referenced quit the competition team when he found out but later returned. A source confirmed this story.
At the first home game of the football season, there was no food for the athletes. Hoppert claimed that food was supposed to be delivered, but the restaurant made a mistake. The athletes found out Hoppert forgot to place the order.
Another game was catered entirely by a family, but Hoppert cited “lack of funds” as the reason why there wasn’t any food. An anonymous source confirmed both of these stories to be true.
Contact Noah Ziegler at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more sports coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.