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Syracuse women’s basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman resigned, according to a release from Syracuse Athletics. His resignation comes one month after The Athletic reported on allegations of threats and bullying against Hillsman.
Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack said in a statement that Syracuse University accepted Hillsman’s resignation and that an interim head coach would fill the position in the coming days.
“Coach Hillsman and I agreed that parting ways is in the best interest of the University, the program and our student-athletes,” Wildhack said in the statement.
The Athletic’s reports included descriptions of Hillsman’s mistreatment towards female coaches and staff members, use of vulgar language and inappropriate behavior. The Athletic spoke with nine former players and 19 others, including managers and staff members, and the allegations came after 11 players transferred out of the program this offseason. SU announced the launch of an external investigation after the release of the article.
“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,” senior associate vice president for university communications Sarah Scalese said in a statement. “While no formal complaints have been made to date from members of the women’s basketball program, we take these allegations very seriously.”
Wildhack said in his latest statement that the university is still in the process of investigating the women’s basketball program.
“As previously announced, the University retained an external law firm to conduct a review of the program,” Wildhack said in the statement. “That review is ongoing, and the Department of Athletics will address issues that are identified at the conclusion of the review.”
The Athletic also reported that one Syracuse player filled out a questionnaire alleging problems with the coaching staff. The weaknesses outlined by the former player included “ego, manipulation, controlling, disrespectful to women/girls, anger issues, mood swings, gas-lighting (sic), lying, emotionally abusive, not caring, doesn’t communicate, doesn’t follow through, empty threats (fear tactics), anytime any girl is talked to we are disrespected in some way.” SU did not follow up with the player, the article said.
“Learning after-the-fact through the media that a student-athlete has had a concerning experience limits our ability to investigate an issue in real-time,” Wildhack said in a statement responding to The Athletic’s reporting. “We urge any student-athlete – from across all sports, past and present, to bring to our attention any incidences of inappropriate behavior so we may initiate an investigation. We also implore student-athletes to be candid in their exit interviews. The only way our leadership can address issues is if we know about them.”
These allegations are not the first time Hillsman’s behavior has been questioned. In 2011, a Title IX claim against Hillsman for sexual harassment was investigated by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The complaint — filed by Gary Lampkins on behalf of his daughter Lynnae — detailed instances of “mental, physical and emotional abuse” and a text message from Hillsman to Lynnae that said “I love you. I miss you. I can’t wait to see you.”
Syracuse launched its own investigation in 2011 and found no wrongdoing, the article said. According to The Athletic, the outcome of the Title IX claim is still unclear.
The post Syracuse women’s basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman resigns amid bullying allegations appeared first on The Daily Orange.