Four Penn State cheerleaders tossed from team, no word if removal linked to Raque case

mcarroll@centredaily.comJanuary 24, 2013 

Four Penn State cheerleaders have been removed from the squad for violating team rules.

University spokeswoman Lisa Powers confirmed that Penn State took disciplinary action against the students for breaking unspecified rules.

Because such disciplinary actions become part of a student’s educational record, Powers said the university can’t disclose additional details. She also couldn’t say when the violations occurred, or when the students were removed from the team.

It’s not clear if the decision is related to a criminal investigation surrounding a fall out of a downtown State College building that left another member of the team badly injured.

Paige Raque, a 19-year-old freshman at Penn State, suffered serious brain and hip injuries Oct. 15 after falling 39 feet out of a window at the Calder Commons apartment building.

State College police have said foul play is not suspected, but alcohol was apparently being served to minors at a party in the room from which Raque fell.

Police said in early December they were pursuing misdemeanor charges of furnishing alcohol to minors against multiple people in connection with the case. While the Centre County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing, no charges had been filed as of Wednesday.

Powers said the university’s Office of Student Conduct has not yet received a report about the case.

A search warrant was filed in November to obtain Raque’s blood alcohol content from Mount Nittany Medical Center, where the young woman initially was transported after the fall. In the document, officers wrote an initial investigation revealed alcohol was being served in the room from which Raque fell.

Despite an initial grim prognosis, Raque has made a remarkable recovery, according to family, friends and doctors. She remained in the intensive care unit at Altoona Regional Health System until just before Thanksgiving, when she was able to return to her Kentucky home and begin rehabilitation there.

Her brother, Parker Raque, a captain of the Penn State men’s gymnastics team, provided an update on her condition via Twitter on Tuesday.

“For those who are curious of Paige’s recovery, she continued to do cognitive and physical therapy daily and is honestly doing great,” he wrote. “She still suffers from a lot of nerve pain in her feet and struggles with toe movement. I ask that you still remember her in your prayers.”

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