Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin formally responded to a story published by The Independent Florida Alligator on Monday where former players on the Florida Gator Women’s basketball team detailed abuses they say were allegedly committed by then coach Cam Newbauer over the course of his tenure as Florida’s head coach.
Newbauer was Stricklin’s first hire as Florida’s athletic director and despite a poor record, (46-71 overall) especially in SEC play (15-47), Newbauer had his contract extended by Stricklin earlier this year. But just six weeks later as details emerged about Newbauer’s alleged poor treatment of athletes and staff surfaced, he abruptly resigned in July of this year.
On ESPN Gainesville’s Sportscene sports talk program, host Steve Russell detailed on air some of the allegations made against Newbauer, citing the sources he had privately spoken with the day after the formal announcement of Newbauer’s resignation took place.
But the story in The Alligator contained direct quotes from players and others who detailed their stories about alleged abuses in the women’s basketball program. After the story was published, Stricklin released the following statement.
“At times during Coach Newbauer’s tenure, there were concerns brought to our attention. Each time, additional information was sought, and these concerns were directly addressed 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 with student athletes and staff. Ultimately, we did not see the required improvements, and following discussions with Coach Newbauer, he made the decision to resign.”
There still seem to be many questions left unanswered, the most obvious being why Stricklin gave Newbauer a contract extension when it seemed like the administration knew of instances of alleged abuse that had been discussed with UAA officials and brought to light by players, some of whom eventually left the program.
Assistant Coach Kelly Rae finally was named the interim coach for this season and the plan is to hire a permanent coach moving forward.