Speaking to a small group of reporters Tuesday, University of Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin took full responsibility for the culture created within the Gators women's basketball program under former coach Cameron Newbauer, who was accused by several players of abuse in an article appearing Monday in the The Independent Florida Alligator, a student newspaper.
As repored by the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Stricklin said he’s ultimately accountable for Newbauer remaining at UF as long as he did despite accusations he belittled players, threw basketballs at them during fits of anger and demeaned Black members of the team because of their appearance.
“We failed in this situation,” Stricklin said. “Ultimately that’s my responsibility for the culture of this department. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
Reports within the athletic department of verbal abuse by Newbauer during his first 18 months raised concerns and led Stricklin to assign executive athletics director Jay Jacobs to oversee the day-to-day operations of the program during the second half of the 2018-19 campaign. Jeff Guin, a senior associate athletic director, assumed Jacobs’ role the past two seasons.
Stricklin said Tuesday no further incidents were reported. Satisfied Newbauer modified his behavior, UF extended his contract three years, despite there being one year remaining on the coach's contract and the fact the team had gone 46-71 overall and 15-47 in the SEC under his leadership.
Stricklin explained the three-year extension, signed in March, effectively gave Newbauer one more season to prove himself. The contract buyout was reduced from $330,000 for each year remaining on the deal to one year’s base salary ($283,250) if he were to be terminated.
“Made the decision to try to give him one more year to see if he can get the thing going the way we want it to go,” Stricklin said. “It’s hard to give a coach a one-year contract extension, so we did a three-year extension, but we adjusted the financials.”
Stricklin said he soon was forced to execute the buyout because of “a situation occurred that was obvious that Cam was still having an issue on the treatment part of people.” Stricklin would not elaborate, the Sun-Sentinel reported.