Syracuse investigating Hillsman's conduct after allegations of abuse
Syracuse's athletics department is launching an investigation into allegations that women's basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman fostered a toxic locker room culture.
Among the accusations are allegations that Hillsman verbally harassed and made inappropriate physical contact with players on numerous occasions, report The Athletic's Chantel Jennings and Dana O'Neil, citing interviews with nine former players and 19 other individuals.
Hillsman also reportedly hired his friend, Ronnie Enoch, to his staff even though Enoch was dismissed from a former post after being accused of sexually harassing a player.
"The allegations reported in The Athletic today are troubling," Syracuse said in a statement to Syracuse.com's Mike Curtis. "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 has experienced this kind of conduct to come forward. Syracuse University remains focused on the well-being and success of our student-athletes."
But several players did attempt to notify university administrators of Hillsman's conduct, according to Jennings and O'Neil.
One player said she described Hillsman's "emotionally abusive" behavior in a questionnaire provided by a school staff member. Another said she logged on to a scheduled conference call with administrators to explain her decision to transfer, but no one else joined the call.
The report comes as Syracuse's women's team faces the largest offseason exodus in college basketball - men's or women's. To date, 11 players from last year's team have elected to transfer.
Hillsman, 50, has served as the Orange's head coach since 2006, a span that includes nine NCAA Tournament appearances and a runner-up finish in 2016.