Basket-Bully? Investigation Launched After Damning Article About Syracuse Women’s Head Coach
The head coach of women's basketball at Syracuse University is facing allegations of threats, bullying and inappropriate behavior - highlighted in an article by The Athletic.
The piece, called ''Why the Mass Exodus from Syracuse Women's Basketball? Ego, Manipulation...Fear Tactics'' launched Tuesday has prompted SU to begin an 'external investigation' into coach Quentin Hillsman, according to Syracuse.com. Sarah Scalese, the university's senior vice-president of communications, released this statement to the a Syracuse.com reporter, calling the allegations made in the article 'troubling':
“The allegations reported in The Athletic today are troubling. Based on the nature of these allegations, Syracuse University is engaging an outside firm to conduct an independent review and will take appropriate action based on its outcome,” the statement said.
The statement also said SU had received no 'formal complaints' from members of the team or program, but that the accusations are being taken 'very seriously.' The outlet reported the Athletic's article included 20 former players and staffers as sources. Among the troubling allegations reported by Syracuse.com:
Players said they experienced suicidal thoughts from their experiences in the program and sought mental health counseling because of the abuse.
Additionally, there are claims of players feeling uncomfortable with Hillsman's practice of kissing player foreheads, along with a claim the coach hired an assistant who had been accused of previously of sexual harassment.
The program lost eleven players from the 2020-21 team to the NCAA transfer portal, and a total of 20 transfers since 2018.