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Syracuse opens investigation into women’s head basketball coach

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse women’s basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman is the subject of an external investigation regarding recent allegations of inappropriate behavior, threats and bullying.

On Tuesday morning, the university called the allegations “troubling”, according to a statement by Sarah Scalese, senior associate vice president for communications.

“The allegations reported in The Athletic today are troubling,” Scalese said. “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.”

“While no formal complaints have been made to date from members of the women’s basketball program, we take these allegations very seriously. We ask any individual who has knowledge of or experienced this kind of conduct to come forward. Syracuse University remains focused on the well-being and success of our student-athletes.”

According to an article from The Athletic, Hillsman often threatened the players – at times using obscene language. According to one of the allegations, he went around to every player during hafltime of a game during the 2019-20 season saying, ‘I don’t give a f*** about you’, before flipping a table. Several team managers and staff members also alleged the coach of unwanted physical contact, threats, and bullying.

Hillsman opted not to comment for the report. Hillsman, who was hired in 2006, is under contract with the team through the 2024 season. In the last four months, nearly two-thirds of the roster from the 2020-21 season have entered the transfer portal. Since 2018, 20 players have left the program, the most of any Power Five school that hasn’t replaced their head coach.

Two weeks ago, athletic director John Wildhack gave Hillsman a vote of confidence during an end-of-year press conference and attributed the high number of transfers as “a sign of the times” in a time of relaxed transfer rules.

Chris Bullock
Chris Bullock
Before joining The Ball Out, Chris Bullock was part of SB Nation's Swish Appeal for nearly three years, covering everything women's basketball. Chris has had the honor of doing live coverage of the WNBA Finals, the NCAA Tournament, and also was given his own column, "The Triple Double". A self-described "foodaholic", Chris lives in the San Diego area with his wife and two daughters, and also hosts his own podcast, "Conscious Cravings", where he speaks about his experience as a mental health advocate.

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