Report: Ex-Florida coach Newbauer abused players, assistants

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida women’s basketball coach Cam Newbauer verbally abused players, assistants and staff members, creating a toxic environment that athletic department officials seemingly failed to fix for years, according to a report by The Independent Florida Alligator.

The Alligator, a student-run paper that’s not affiliated with the university, spoke to several former players and some of their parents before detailing the alleged abuse Monday.

Newbauer “resigned” in mid-July for “personal reasons,” a stunning move that came six weeks after he signed a three-year contract extension. His departure came two days after leading scorer Lavender Briggs entered the transfer portal.

Briggs returned to Florida after athletic director Scott Stricklin named Kelly Rae Finley interim head coach for the 2021-22 season. Stricklin plans to hire a permanent replacement following the season.

But the Alligator’s reporting raised questions about how Stricklin, associate athletic director Lynda Tealer and even Finley reacted – or failed to take action – to Newbauer’s repeated violations of University Athletic Association policy. Former players said Newbauer made racist remarks, threw basketballs at players and belittled everyone around him.

Stricklin, whose first hire at Florida was Newbauer in March 2017, responded in a statement. But Stricklin failed to explain why he kept Newbauer following the allegations or decided to give him a contract extension in February.

“At times during Coach Newbauer’s tenure, there were concerns brought to our attention,” Stricklin said. “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. Ultimately, we did not see the required improvements, and following discussions with Coach Newbauer, he made the decision to resign.”

Newbauer, a 43-year-old Indiana native, went 46-71 overall and 15-47 in Southeastern Conference play, including three three-win seasons in four years at Florida.

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