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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Haley Lorenzen was the moment one particular of the most trusted gamers on the Florida Gators women’s basketball group. For the duration of her senior yr in 2017-18, the 6-foot-3 ahead turned just the 10th Gator to commence 100 job online games.
But that similar season, her very first less than Florida’s freshly hired head mentor Cameron Newbauer, is also the yr, Lorenzen claimed, that her “really like for the sport was abysmal.”
Lorenzen, now 25 and performing in Orlando as a product sales consultant for a construction organization, instructed ESPN the harmful and abusive society Newbauer developed inside of his basketball application created her eliminate the passion for the sport she’d had her total daily life.
“I had the prospect to engage in professional basketball. I had an agent lined up. I even went to the WNBA combine and I received there and I just did not even want to be there,” Lorenzen explained.
She reported she didn’t contact a basketball for additional than a calendar year just after her practical experience under Newbauer.
Lorenzen is one of five previous Gators who played less than Newbauer to tell ESPN that the former mentor routinely belittled and berated them at methods. Players described a tension-cooker surroundings in which the slightest misstep in the course of a follow drill or a match could spark fury from their former coach. They said he threw basketballs at players, at 1 level hitting a participant recovering from a torn ACL in her hurt leg, made racially insensitive comments and routinely minimized gamers to tears in the course of profanity-laced tirades. Lorenzen and other gamers initial went on the history with their allegations Monday in a story released in the school’s newspaper, The Impartial Florida Alligator.
Newbauer did not reply to ESPN’s requests for comment.
Newbauer was introduced as the women’s basketball coach in March 2017, the 1st seek the services of for Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin. Prior to arriving in Gainesville, he’d led Belmont College, a private Christian college in Nashville with an enrollment of just about 8,000 pupils, to two excursions to the NCAA women’s event.
Despite getting a sub-.400 winning proportion in his to start with 4 decades at Florida, Newbauer was rewarded with a 3-yr contract extension in June.
“Cam is developing his plan the suitable way and building continual development,” Stricklin explained when the extension was declared.
But in mid-July, Newbauer suddenly resigned, citing personal causes.
At the time of his resignation, the college by no means pointed out any stories of abusive behavior. That acknowledgement arrived only right after allegations of the abuse appeared in the school newspaper earlier this week.
“There were concerns brought to our notice. Every time, further info was sought, and these issues were being resolved directly with Cam as we necessary corrective actions and outlined apparent expectations of actions shifting ahead,” the university said in a assertion on Monday. “In the long run, we did not see the necessary improvements, and adhering to discussions with Mentor Newbauer he produced the selection to resign.”
A day just after that original statement was unveiled, Stricklin made extra strongly worded remarks to a smaller team of reporters, telling them, “We failed in this circumstance,” and including “in the end which is my accountability for the society of this section. I will just take duty for that.”
The university declined to make Stricklin offered for an job interview with ESPN.
An athletic section spokesperson has acknowledged that the faculty received a number of grievances about Newbauer’s cure of his gamers just after his first season with the Gators.
In an April 2018 e mail to Stricklin, Frank and Lynn Morang, the mothers and fathers of previous Gators guard Sydney Morang, wrote that Newbauer had “cultivated a toxic setting and is not geared up to coach younger athletes who are at a vital level in their development as women of all ages.”
Frank and Lynn experienced listened to stories of Newbauer’s alleged behavior all time lengthy from their daughter, who afterwards medically retired after a sequence of concussions, and also their son, who was a member of the practice squad during Newbauer’s very first season.
“As a father or mother it was infuriating,” said Lynn Morang, who experienced performed school basketball herself at Boston University. “To have a person address these younger ladies like this, as well as employees, it was a disbelief that just saved mounting.”
Following the Morangs manufactured their concerns recognized to Stricklin in the e mail, which was also sent to the school’s president, Kent Fuchs, Newbauer’s superiors in the athletic division made him informed of the complaints and subjected him to higher oversight.
The encounters of the players ESPN spoke with span the length of Newbauer’s tenure at Florida. Sydney Searcy, now a guard at Detroit Mercy, was a sophomore during Newbauer’s initial year as head coach of the Gators. She remembers Newbauer routinely referring to gamers as “b—-es.” She and other individuals also say Newbauer, who is white, created racially insensitive responses about the hair and tattoos of numerous Black players on his workforce.
Searcy, who is Black, claimed she witnessed just one incident in which Newbauer pressured 3 gamers, all of whom had been Black, to throw away their clothing mainly because he was displeased with their physical appearance.
“He did not like that they wore baggier or men’s clothing, as if they dressed like thugs,” Searcy said. “He experienced them go into the locker space and throw their clothes absent. … As a Black girl I noticed the pain and the worry in their eyes.”
Mikayla Hayes, who is also Black, played along with Searcy and also recalled the incident involving the 3 players. She informed ESPN Newbauer designed her teammates go to the shopping mall to get outfits that he imagined would be much more proper.
Hayes said Newbauer was notably insensitive to teammates who were being component of the LGBTQ+ local community.
“I had a ton of teammates who have been gay and he would constantly inform them he didn’t like the way they seemed or how they offered themselves,” Hayes mentioned. Like Lorenzen, Hayes stated Newbauer afflicted her self-esteem and really like of the video game. “It is five decades later and I’m just at last receiving back to remaining myself once more,” stated Hayes, who is now a graduate scholar and heart at Xavier.
The knowledge of Lorenzen, Searcy and Hayes mirrors that of Cydnee Kinslow, a 6-2 ahead, who performed for Newbauer during the 2020-21 season.
Kinslow, who is a member of the LGBTQ+ group, reported at 1 stage Newbauer termed her into his place of work, had her view apply movie of her slapping palms with a teammate and then proceeded to concern whether the two were being concerned in an personal marriage.
“It was very difficult to perform guiding an individual that we felt was really sexist and homophobic, racist, all people forms of things,” Kinslow claimed. “The way he handled girls was outrageous. He just experienced some kind of complex to where women of all ages were being inferior to him and it was hard, in particular getting a women’s basketball team.”
Numerous previous Gators gamers told ESPN that recent interim head coach Kelly Rae Finley, who served as Newbauer’s associate head coach, must be held accountable for failing to intervene, problem or halt Newbauer’s alleged habits.
“Kelly was the a single who walked powering him and bandaged every little thing, cleaning up his mess each solitary time and sweeping it under the rug,” Kinslow mentioned. The college also declined to make Finley accessible for an interview.
On Friday, a previous Gators staffer who claims he attended 95% of methods delivered a distinct account to ESPN. He declined to present his name out of problem that it could influence his recent work, but stated the stories of abuse by Newbauer are currently being overblown.
“You will find parts of every single tale that are exaggerated but I don’t assume anybody’s lying,” the supply claimed.
He told ESPN that Newbauer’s practices ended up “psychological” and “extreme” and that the former coach’s biggest concern was that he coached everyone the identical, even individuals gamers who may not reply to “tricky coaching.” He added that he under no circumstances witnessed nearly anything that, to him, crossed the line.
“Almost nothing physical. Very little racial. That is the way I saw it, at least,” he stated.
A further supply common with the school’s critique of the issues lifted about Newbauer stated the college located no evidence that he threw basketballs at gamers, and obtained no problems about Newbauer making racially insensitive reviews.
“I am not stating it failed to materialize. I am just declaring we failed to locate any proof to support these allegations,” the resource reported.
Lorenzen and the other previous Gators who spoke with ESPN are discouraged that it took so long for the allegations of abusive behavior to appear to gentle.
Ultimately, it was Lynn Morang, the mother of former participant Sydney Morang, who furnished an on-line tip to the school’s newspaper, alerting it to the true reasons powering Newbauer’s unexpected resignation in July. The Morangs and many others say they ended up upset that Newbauer was authorized to resign from the college without the need of becoming held accountable for his habits.
“We came to the summary that it was a different example of an establishment protecting alone around the folks it was meant to secure, in this scenario younger women,” Lynn Morang mentioned.
Haley Lorenzen hopes that by talking out about her practical experience with her previous coach, other athletes stuck in abusive environments will sense emboldened to use their voices.
“Psychological wellbeing is crucial and who you employ is crucial due to the fact at the finish of the working day they’re not just a mentor, they are a mentor, they are a mom or a father away from residence.”
She claimed Newbauer must provide as an instance that universities “can do so significantly destruction in so many life if you really don’t select the ideal individual.”