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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Athletic Director Scott Stricklin responds to allegations of abuse under former coach Newbauer

Former women’s basketball head coach Cam Newbauer resigned on July 16, citing personal reasons

Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin addressed the abuse allegations surrounding former women's basketball coach Cameron Newbauer Monday.
Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin addressed the abuse allegations surrounding former women's basketball coach Cameron Newbauer Monday.

UPDATE (9/29, 6:10 pm) - The Alligator received Scott Stricklin's full statement from Tuesday's conference.

"We as a department have a responsibility to provide our student-athletes leadership for their particular programs, their sports. We are going to provide them the best atmosphere possible, and we failed in this situation. And ultimately that's my responsibility for the culture of this department. I'll take full responsibility for that.

“Had I been aware of everything at the time he resigned that I when we made the contract extension, I never would have done the contract extension. I thought things were moving in a certain direction. Obviously, we weren’t. We didn’t pick up signs and clues and we’ve got to figure out going forward how to get better at that and make sure we know what’s going on.”

This same statement has been given to other outlets by the University Athletic Association.

UPDATE (9/29, 12:30 pm) - Stricklin met with select reporters on Tuesday to further discuss the abuse allegations surrounding Newbauer's tenure and the UAA's investigations into those claims, according to reports from the Orlando Sentinel's Edgar Thompson, The Associated Press' Mark Long and Tampa Bay Times' Matt Baker.

Stricklin said the athletic association was made aware of complaints within the program during the first two years, but took tried to put more structure around the program and was under the impression the situation was improving. However, Stricklin said another situation later made it clear those improvements weren't being made and Newbauer stepped away from the program.

The Alligator and other publications were not made aware of Stricklin's availability.

Multiple former Florida women’s basketball players accused former Florida Gators women’s basketball coach Cam Newbauer of making racist remarks, throwing basketball players during practices and verbally abusing the team, assistant coaches and trainers. 

Just over six hours after the story was released Monday, UF Athletic Director Scott Stricklin released a statement in response. He said it is his responsibility to cultivate a championship experience with integrity, along with the necessary support for Florida student-athletes and staff. 

Stricklin said the culture of the women’s basketball program under Newbauer described in The Alligator’s article is in no way consistent with the values of UF. 

“At times during Coach Newbauer’s tenure there were concerns brought to our attention,” he wrote. “Each time, additional information was sought, and these concerns were addressed directly with Cam as we required corrective actions and outlined clear expectations of behavior moving forward. Additionally, the UAA provided enhanced administrative oversight and presence within the program and sought anonymous feedback directly from student-athletes and staff.

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Ultimately, we did not see the required improvements, and following discussions with Coach Newbauer he made the decision to resign.”

Newbauer’s associate head coach Kelly Rae Finley was appointed as the interim head coach following his resignation. 

Cydnee Kinslow, a graduate transfer on the 2020-2021 team, said Finley is just as complicit as Newbauer, adding that she swept the former coach’s behavior under the rug and did damage control.

Stricklin’s statement didn’t address Kinslow’s claim. 

The 2021-2022 Gators women’s basketball season kicks off on Nov. 5, when the team will play Flagler College in an exhibition game at the O’Connell Center. 

Contact Zachary Huber at zhuber@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @zacharyahuber.

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