App State Athletics Issues Apology After Investigating Color Guard Member’s Claims

Published Friday, September 23, 2016 at 11:15 am

By Jesse Wood

Judging from responses from the athletics directors of Appalachian State University and University of Miami, the investigation into claims made by an App State color guard member that Miami players “blindsided … groped, sworn at, taunted and touched” other color guard members as they took the field last Saturday is over.

Sophie Randleman wrote a 450-word post on Facebook on Saturday night, several hours after the football game ended in 45-10 victory for Miami. The post has been shared more than 1,000 times and was initially picked up by media outlets in Florida.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Typically, the opposing football team will make an effort to run around us as we spin to our fight song, apologizing if they get in our way or make an effort to avoid us completely. Today, Miami’s football team decided to blind side one of our members on the corner of the field. She was shoved by several very large, intentionally aggressive, football players. No apologies were made regarding this incident, and the member who was hit had severe pain and had to sit for most of the game. I turned around just as this was happening, and was immediately furious and upset. Leaving the field, I thought that this was the only incident that occurred. It turns out that several other members were groped, sworn at, taunted, and touched in ways that were definitely not asked for.”

University of Miami Athletics Director Blake James said the university reviewed multiple videos, social media posts and interviewed possible witnesses regarding Randleman’s claims and found “no evidence of wrongdoing” by Miami’s players, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“Unless someone finds something new,” James told the paper, “to me, it’s over.”

That was on Tuesday.

Yesterday afternoon, App State Athletics Director Doug Gillin issued the following statement:

“On behalf of Appalachian State University, we apologize to all those impacted by the situation created as teams took the field prior to kickoff on Saturday. The University of Miami administration has been incredibly cooperative throughout the review process. We’ve investigated the concerns, and we’ve provided support to our students. We will continue to support our students and keep their safety as a top priority.”

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