Nudes of Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team leaked from player's phone, police suspect hacking
According to the University of Wisconsin police, the unnamed player is not under suspicion and has no idea how the photos were leaked online
MADISON, WISCONSIN: The leak of explicit photos of the University of Wisconsin women's volleyball team reportedly came from one of the players' phones.
According to the University of Wisconsin police, the unnamed player is not under suspicion and has no idea how the photos were leaked online. However, the authorities are looking at whether her cellphone was hacked. The 40 photos and videos that emerged online last week were taken after the Badgers won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Volleyball National Championships last December.
"We're looking into what happened and who may have shared these photos," Marc Lovicott, the department's executive director of communications, told the Daily Mail. "None of the players are being investigated and we are looking at the possibility that one of their phones was hacked." Wisconsin state law prohibits the sharing of explicit photos without permission, meaning the leaker would have needed all 18 members of the 2021 National Championship-winning team to agree to their publication.
"This is a unique case because of the high profile of the girls involved and our detectives are working on this case as a priority," Lovicott said, adding, "Our department has worked on cases like this before but many of them involve people threatening to put intimate photos online – blackmail. Nothing like that is suspected in this case and again, this case is unique because of the high profile of the players."
The large cache of photos and videos shows the team flashing their breasts at the camera while celebrating in their locker room following their triumph last year. While some of the team members have since graduated, some current players are also featured, including top talents such as Izzy Ashburn, Liz Gregorski, and Jade Demps. The leak was apparently revealed on October 18 when members of the volleyball team realized their photos were trending on TikTok and reported it to university police.
The University of Wisconsin Athletics released a statement on Twitter the following day. "We are aware that private photos and video of UW volleyball student-athletes that were never intended to be shared publicly are being circulated digitally," it read, "The unauthorized sharing is a significant and wrongful invasion of the student-athletes' privacy, including potential violations of university policies and criminal statutes. When the student-athletes became aware of the circulating photos, they contacted the UW-Madison Police Department. UWPD is investigating multiple crimes, including sharing sensitive photos without consent. UWPD is not investigating the volleyball student-athletes for wrongdoing in this matter." The statement added, "Our top priority is supporting our student-athletes and we are providing them with the appropriate services and resources."
Statement from UW Athletics pic.twitter.com/M2lK2OYg8a— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) October 19, 2022
However, the players' game appears to have been unaffected despite the embarrassing leak, with the Badgers scoring 3-0 and 3-1 victories over Michigan State and the University of Michigan over the weekend. They later swept the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers in three straight sets at the Wisconsin Field House on Wednesday evening, October 27.