Memphis cheer coach named in federal Varsity Spirit abuse scandal

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The head cheer coach of Pinnacle Cheer Memphis was named as one of three new defendants in the ongoing Varsity Spirit abuse scandal. Pinnacle Cheer is a private, competitive cheerleading organization with a gym in Cordova. Jarred Carruba, who is still listed as the head coach on

Pinnacle Cheer’s website, is accused of child sex abuse in the federal lawsuit. The accusations he faces stem from his time working for Rockstar Cheer & Dance in Greenville, South Carolina. On Tuesday, Oct. 11, attorneys with Strom Law Firm filed new federal lawsuits on behalf of three additional abuse survivors following the original filing in September. The sex abuse lawsuit naming Carrubba is part of a series of lawsuits against Varsity Spirit, Varsity Brands LLC, Rockstar Cheer & Dance Inc, U.S.

All Star Federation Inc. (USASF), Kathy Foster, the estate of Scott Foster and Jeff Webb – alleging Varsity operates as an illegal monopoly in the billion dollar world of competitive cheerleading, and that the defendants violated the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. Both Varsity Spirit and USASF are based in Memphis, Tennessee. At the Memphis gym, Carruba teaches tumbling skills to kids of all ages.

“Defendant Jared Carruba, another adult coach at Defendant Rockstar, did on several occasions, send sexually explicit messages and photos via Snapchat to Plaintiff John Doe 3, who was fifteen years old at the time,” the suit reads. It claims Carruba would often make comments about these messages to this same victim at the gym in front of other athletes and coaches.

Scott Foster, who was the owner of Rockstar Cheer along with his wife, is also accused of providing cigarettes, alcohol and cocaine to the same teenager. Foster committed suicide on Aug. 22. while under criminal investigation for allegedly having sex with minors in multiple states. Carruba, according to the suit, was Foster’s protégé. “Defendant Scott Foster, as owner and operator of Defendant Rockstar, along with Defendants Black and Carruba, who Defendant Foster allowed to access minor athletes including Plaintiff, did illegally commit unwanted and nonconsensual sexual touching of the Plaintiff and others,” the suit reads.

Christy, a mom whose 17-year-old daughter was coached by Carruba at another cheerleading gym, Memphis Pride, says though they never witnessed any inappropriate sexual behavior, they were not fans of Carruba’s coaching style. “It was horrible,” Christy told Action News 5, “He uses verbal abuse and mental abuse as a way of coaching, and for my kid… that just wasn’t a good way to reach her.

He would call her names like ‘trash’ or ‘baby’ and tell her that she belonged in a corner because babies cry in the corner. I don’t know of another coach that verbally abuses or bullies kids like he does.” Christy also said during out-of-town competitions, the young athletes and their parents saw Carrubba drinking alcohol.

“You would see them drinking at the bar,” she said, “and even though they weren’t on duty, you would see them drinking, and you never want to see your coach drinking at a bar.” After Memphis Pride fired Carrubba, he and coach Justin Morries opened Pinnacle Cheer Memphis this summer along with Kim Davis.

Another mom whose daughter attends Pinnacle told Action News 5: “As a parent, I hope that one person doesn’t destroy the whole gym. I know personally that Justin has put his heart and soul into this sport and this gym. He’s a passionate coach and a great motivator for athletes.”

Click here to view copies of the new lawsuits filed on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

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