Florida basketball abuse is latest example of how women athletes are constantly betrayed by those expected to protect

Who, precisely, is defending feminine athletes on school campuses? Anybody? 

If headlines from the previous few months are any indication, there aren’t many who’re.

In April, USA Today revealed a rotten tradition within the LSU athletics division, the place many so-called adults knew that ladies on campus, together with student-athletes, had been victims of sexual assault and companion violence by the hands of members of the soccer group and nobody did a lot of something as a result of profitable soccer groups seemingly are valued over the security and well-being of younger girls.

In June, The Athletic published a report detailing why gamers had been leaving the Syracuse girls’s group in droves: head coach Quentin Hillsman was verbally abusive and in any other case made them uncomfortable along with his habits. Present and former members of the group in addition to dad and mom reported the habits to athletics directors and received little to no help.

And on Monday, the Impartial Florida Alligator had as its lead story, “Former Florida women’s basketball players detail abuse under Coach Newbauer.” A poisonous tradition of verbal abuse towards gamers, assistant coaches and trainers, throwing basketballs at gamers, and singling out Black gamers for his or her selection of attire and having assistant coaches purchase them garments that he accredited of, is laid out. Present and former members of the group in addition to dad and mom reported the therapy to athletics directors and — identical to Syracuse — received little to no help.

Cameron Newbauer’s habits, as described within the Alligator story, is textbook abuser, in that he made just about everybody on and across the group afraid that issues would worsen in the event that they spoke up. Everybody was on eggshells round him, uncertain what would set off one other explosion. He’d berate a participant, screaming in her face, at follow someday after which welcome her again the subsequent, solely to rehash all of it in a group huddle and remind them they needed to respect him.

Former Florida girls’s basketball head coach Cameron Newbauer reportedly fostered an abusive and poisonous tradition. (John Byrum/Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures)

Hurling basketballs at gamers, even those that had been injured, gave the impression to be a frequent tantrum for Newbauer. He reportedly as soon as hit a participant recovering from a torn ACL on her injured leg. The athletic trainers and power and conditioning coach, folks educated and licensed of their respective fields, didn’t escape his wrath. Gamers had been suggested to see therapists. Not less than one give up the group fairly than proceed being subjected to Newbauer’s habits, and one other was stated to have tried suicide earlier than finally leaving.

And but, Newbauer had the audacity of telling Black gamers that their tattoos and selection of clothes needed to be lined up and altered as a result of they may be a foul affect on his three daughters — and never his unhinged habits, which they had been current for at occasions.

In case you are undecided what “privilege” is, particularly since that phrase is intentionally misconstrued with growing frequency, look no additional than these circumstances. Up to now, nobody at LSU has confronted any actual consequence for permitting soccer gamers to skate regardless of critical allegations which have now triggered two U.S. Division of Training investigations.

Hillsman was allowed to resign and Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack, who additionally turned a blind eye to domestic violence allegations and an arrest against men’s lacrosse star Chase Scanlan, nonetheless has his job. 

And Newbauer, who quietly resigned from Florida in July citing “household causes,” received the identical consideration. Florida admitted as much in a statement later Monday, acknowledging that it knew of “considerations” with Newbauer and elevated oversight of this system.

How a lot elevated oversight may there have been if Newbauer, with a 46-71 report and nil NCAA match appearances in his 4 seasons, received a contract extension from the college in June that was slated to pay him $500,000 per 12 months, mere weeks earlier than his resignation? Why did Florida go together with the lie that “household causes” had been why he was stepping away, not a laundry record of abuse allegations?

As a result of nobody is looking for these girls. 

More often than not, such habits is ignored, significantly by the boosters who affect such selections, as a result of a program is profitable, and profitable, as everyone knows, is far extra essential than the security and well-being of different human beings, particularly when these in peril are girls. (Insert hardest of eye rolls right here.)

That is why LSU’s gamers, coaches and directors confronted little in the best way of sanctions earlier than USA Immediately began publishing its findings. That is why Hillsman was painted as a unusual eccentric and never a tyrant.

However Newbauer wasn’t even profitable — at a college the place profitable is demanded, in each sport.

Extra scary for ladies nonetheless on the Gators roster, Kelly Rae Finley, the assistant coach who’s alleged to have completed essentially the most to attempt to sweep Newbauer’s vile habits beneath the rug, is now interim head coach.

So once more we ask: Is anybody looking for these girls? 

As somebody who recently dropped her oldest daughter off at college, one of many largest fears you could have is what others may do to your youngster and you are not there to guard them. Our daughter was not recruited as an athlete, however we’re nonetheless inserting our belief within the instructors, employees and directors of her college that her security and psychological and bodily well-being will likely be valued and revered.

Coaches go into households’ houses and make such guarantees once they’re recruiting athletes. They’ll assist them develop into robust younger girls or higher younger males, blah blah blah. It’s a despicable betrayal to find that not solely is a coach a snake, the folks above that coach know they are a snake and are doing little to nothing to guard your youngster from their venom.

As at all times with these tales, we want the ladies and people who survived Newbauer’s reign peace as they transfer ahead.

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