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Former Florida women’s basketball coach Cam Newbauer accused of abuse

Newbauer resigned his position in July — after inking a contract extension in June.

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Florida vs Kentucky Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Former Florida Gators women’s basketball head coach Cam Newbauer was routinely abusive of players and assistant coaches during his time in Gainesville, multiple players and parents tell Zachary Huber of The Independent Florida Alligator.

Newbauer’s abuse was frequent and wide-ranging, from remarks meant to belittle and demean Black players to throwing basketballs at players — including hitting a player’s injured leg — and he effectively forced players recruited by his predecessor, Amanda Butler, out of the program, according to Huber’s sources.

Five former Florida players are quoted in Huber’s report: Haley Lorenzen, a team captain in 2017-18; Sydney Searcy, who transferred to Morgan State; Sydney Morang, who medically retired from basketball due to concussions; Jalaysha Thomas, who transferred to LSU; and Cydnee Kinslow, who played sparingly in 2020-21 as a graduate transfer. In addition, Huber appears to include information — but not direct quotes — from Tameria Johnson, who transferred to Tallahassee Community College, and Mikayla Hayes, a Butler recruit who transferred to Clemson — where Butler is now the head coach.

Huber also includes quotes from Hayes’s mother, who was dismayed to observe her daughter’s physical and mental condition after only part of a fall semester spent in Newbauer’s program, and insight from Morang’s brother, Jordan, who previously worked as a practice player for the team. Huber writes that Morang quit his job “shortly after Newbauer’s arrival” and that he “couldn’t handle watching Newbauer scream at the athletes and coaching staff.”

Yet perhaps worst of all the allegations is an implicit one — that Florida athletic department leadership, including athletic director Scott Stricklin, did nothing about Newbauer, despite knowledge of allegations, until just this past summer.

Per the report, Morang attended a meeting that Thomas and Johnson with executive associate athletic director Lynda Tealer — a longtime assistant under Jeremy Foley who has overseen the Gators’ women’s sports programs — and was told that the University Athletic Association was investigating the allegations.

Huber does not give a specific date for that meeting, but also quotes an email sent by Stricklin in response to a concerned letter from Morang’s parents from 2018:

“Thank you for taking the time to write to me,” he wrote. “It is truly important to me and everyone on our staff that Gator student-athletes have a valuable experience, and we are always open to learning how we can improve … Lynda Tealer met with Sydney and two other members of the women’s basketball team. We will consider all the information we have received and work to make enhancements that improves the experience for our students.”

Newbauer would remain Florida’s coach for three full seasons after the email — and Florida announced his contract extension a month prior to his resignation.

There is a lot more in Huber’s report, too, including Kinslow alleging that Newbauer assistant Kelly Rae Finley — promoted to interim coach in the wake of his resignation — “did everything she could to sweep (his abuse) under the rug” and that a former Florida player attempted suicide.

And while Florida has attempted to limit the fallout from Newbauer’s abrupt departure, this report suggests that it may have bigger problems, and a need to both clean house in its women’s basketball program and do some soul-searching at the executive level.