Bullying happens at all levels, doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. Syracuse women’s basketball coach Quentin Hillsman was asked all the back in April why 11 of his players have entered the transfer portal over the past year. He didn’t give an answer, simply responding with a “we’re fine.” Apparently things were not all that fine. In fact, his players transferred for a reason. According to The Athletic, nine former players and 19 other sources have come forward, calling out Hillsman for his erratic and “often-inappropriate” behavior.
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That bad behavior allegedly includes verbal abuse, bullying, and unwanted touching and kissing.
Why the mass exodus from Syracuse women’s basketball? ‘Ego, manipulation … fear tactics’
"I thought I was going to be on top of the world at Syracuse,’’ said one player, a former five-star recruit. “I felt six feet under.”
— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) June 29, 2021
Players told The Athletic that’s when things began to change for the worse:
“Players and others in the program said that following the success in 2016, they felt as if Hillsman began treating some of them as mere role players in his one-man show. “There was this time in the film room where he mentioned something along the lines about how he doesn’t really care about us, and that he doesn’t care if we like him, because he’s a star,” one former player said. “He beat his chest and said, ‘I’m a star.’”
When it came to basketball Hillsman was allegedly even a worse human being:
[Hillsman] often threatened the players, sometimes using vulgar language. “The way he threatened us, like we all knew he would never physically harm us, but he’d always be talking about beating our asses. Like, ‘I’ll f*** you guys up. I’ll f*** you up. It’s gonna be your ass if you f*** this up,’” said one former player. More than 10 people described Hillsman acting in that manner.
At halftime of one game during the 2019-20 season, Hillsman went around the locker room, standing before every player and saying to each: “I don’t give a f*** about you.” Then he flipped a table. Seven people present recalled this incident.
Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack knows nothing of the allegations:
“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. 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.”
There’s no place in society for bullying, and being a coach shouldn’t give you a license to verbally abuse people.
Plus the inappropriate touching and kissing is a serious NO NO.
Time to get rid of all the old school coaches who think they’re above the law.