A female track and field star has been dismissed from California State Fullerton’s track and field team after refusing to give up her job as an exotic dancer at an area night club.
Track coach John Elders told sophomore Leilani Rios that she could either quit dancing and remain on the team, or keep her job and turn in her uniform. Rios, who credits her job with financing her college education, chose the latter and saw no reason why she couldn’t do both.
“I had to do what I felt was best not only for the team and the program, but for Leilani as well,” Elders said. He said that Rios’ decision to continue dancing would tarnish the accomplishments of her teammates and the university as a whole. “It’s my responsibility to protect the team’s image.”
But in an interview with the Daily Titan student newspaper, Rios reiterated that she had done nothing wrong.
“I chose my job so I can afford to go to school,” she said. “I don’t like the fact that they can kick you off for no reason at all because that’s not a right reason to kick somebody off the team.”
Elders said that he first heard of Rios’ dancing after a group of CSUF baseball players recognized her while she was performing. Word spread around campus, and the entire track team knew before long.
Rios, who ran cross country as a freshman, said that she is the first person in her family to go to college, and that she aspires to work in physical therapy.