Raleigh, N.C. — The former coach of North Carolina State University's dance team pleaded guilty Thursday to embezzling from the team.
Jamila Kikora Wright, 27, of 1356 Sunbow Falls Lane, Apt. 305 in Raleigh, was sentenced to five years on supervised probation and was ordered to repay the team $21,000.
"She made a giant error in judgment," Superior Court Judge Howard Manning said.
More than a dozen members of the 34-person dance team attended the court hearing in uniform.
The team is supported by private donations and isn't funded by the NC State athletic department. It has an annual budget of $36,000 to $38,000.
"I think it was so important for me and the rest of the coaching staff to make a point and say those girls work really really hard for this money, and it's just not fair to have it taken away," dance team coach Amanda Roediger said.
Investigators said Wright stole "currency, goods and services" from the team between December 2007 and February 2008.
She was a member of the dance team for four years before graduating in 2004, according to her online biography. She served as coach of the team until her June arrest.
"We had cooperated with law enforcement going into the time of charges being filed," defense attorney Patrick Roberts said in court. "I think she is relieved to get this chapter of her life over with and start over and put this behind her."