Syracuse University wasted little time in announcing an external investigation of women’s basketball coach Quentin Hillsman, the same day a report in The Athletic cited claims by former players that Hillsman threatened and bullied them, among other inappropriate behavior.
As reported by syracuse.com, the university called the allegations 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,” according to a statement issued by Sarah Scalese, the university's senior associate vice president for communications.
“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 has experienced this kind of conduct to come forward. Syracuse University remains focused on the well-being and success of our student-athletes.”
As one example of Hillsman's alleged behavior, players cited one halftime outburst during the 2019-20 season in which the coach told players, "I don't give a f___ about you," before flipping a table.
Hillsman was hired to coach the SU women’s basketball program in 2006 and is under contract through 2024. In the month following the Orange's second-round exit from the NCAA tournament, 11 players on the 2020-21 roster chose to transfer this offseason, bringing to 20 the number of players who have left the program since 2018, the most among any Power Five women’s team that has not experienced a coaching change, according to syracuse.com.
During an end-of-season press conference in which he voiced support for Hillsman, Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack attributed the high number of transfers as “a sign of the times” in an era of relaxed transfer rules.