73 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Members of the University of Louisville's spirit teams will have to undergo the same drug testing as the rest of the school's athletes, the university said Thursday after it was confirmed that cheerleader Danielle Cogswell died of a drug overdose.

U of L sports information director Kenny Klein confirmed that the cheerleaders would now be subject to the policy.

Cogswell, 22, died of an overdose of heroin, amphetamines and Xanax, Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones said Thursday.

"The combination was too much for her," Weakley-Jones said.

Cogswell was found July 28 in Cardinal Towne, an off-campus student housing complex with ties to the university.

Two days later, Louisville Metro Police said they were treating Cogswell's death as a suspected overdose.

Christine Simatacolos, an associate athletic director for student life at U of L, said the university was "saddened by the coroner's report and the circumstances surrounding Dani's death."

"We have continued to provide support for our spirit team members as they have worked through their grief," she said in a statement.

She also said the university has planned a meeting with the spirit teams to notify members that they have access to all services and benefits available to student-athletes, including sports medicine, which oversees the drug testing program.

University rules require drug screening of student-athletes in accordance with NCAA rules to detect use of banned drugs, but cheerleading is not an NCAA-sponsored sport, Simatacolos said in July.

She said that spirit team members do go through an annual orientation for new student-athletes that includes drug and alcohol education.

Cogswell, who was from the Seattle suburb of Sammamish, joined U of L's program last year as a transfer from Arizona State.

Spirit coach Todd Sharp described her as an elite gymnast "in the upper echelon of our program."

She was on a cheerleading squad in Sammamish that won the Washington state championship in 2009, the year before she graduated from high school.

Andrew Wolfson writes from the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal.

73 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1tURRuX