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OSU Cheerleader Kicked Off Team After Sexual Harassment Claims
COLUMBUS (Ben Garbarek) -- A former Ohio State University cheerleader claims he was kicked off the squad for speaking out against sexual harassment.
Cody Ellis, a fifth-year senior, said he just wants to get back on the team. He came forward last year saying former Assistant Coach Eddie Hollins was sexually harassing him.
"This is one of his coaches," said Ellis' attorney John Camillus. "This is one of the people that's supposed to be looking out for him and caring for him and instead is subjecting him to these wildly inappropriate comment."
Hollins admitted to investigators he sent Ellis a text saying "can't wait to see your (hot) a**" and other sexually charged messages. The coach also talked about having sex.
Another assistant coach, Dana Bumbrey, was also fired for allegedly sexually harassing several female cheerleaders.
"This sexual harassment was rampant," Camillus said. "This was not an isolated incident. This was not Eddie Hollins sent a few text messages to Cody Ellis that nobody else would know about. It was widespread at practice."
Hollins is also accused of taking several male cheerleaders to the Athletic Club downtown to train and then invite them to shower with him.
After making these claims and OSU confirming his allegations, Ellis is off the team. Head Coach Lenee Buchman apparently told Ellis he was being kicked out because he has a bad attitude.
"It's clear to us she did that in retaliation," he said. "She's upset that Cody came forward, that he brought forward these allegations that put her program in a bad light. She clearly did not want these coaches off of her staff."
OSU said it looked into that claim and decided it was not a case of retaliation.
"He was a victim of sexual harassment in the first place," Camillus said. "Because he came forward, he got kicked off the team and victimized again."
OSU said in a statement any athlete is entitled to a review if he or she is kicked off a team. The university said it reviewed Ellis' case.
The university said it has zero tolerance for retaliation.