Syracuse investigating 'troubling' allegations against women's basketball coach Quentin Hillsman

Syracuse University has opened an external investigation into "troubling" allegations of threats, bullying and inappropriate behavior by women's basketball coach Quentin Hillsman, the school announced Tuesday.

The Athletic on Tuesday reported about the allegations involving Hillsman, the program's career leader in wins, after 11 players -- including leading scorer Kiara Lewis and ACC Rookie of the Year Kamilla Cardoso -- opted to transfer from the program after last season.

In all, 20 players have left the Orange program since 2018.

"The allegations reported in The Athletic today are troubling," Syracuse said in a statement to Syracuse.com on Tuesday. "Based on the nature of these allegations, Syracuse University is engaging an outside firm to conduct an independent review and will take appropriate action based on its outcome.

"While no formal complaints have been made to date from members of the women's basketball program, we take these allegations very seriously. We ask any individual who has knowledge of or has experienced this kind of conduct to come forward. Syracuse University remains focused on the well-being and success of our student-athletes."

Former players and former staff members told The Athletic that Hillsman's threats included explicit language and included an alleged incident when he flipped over a table at halftime of a game during the 2019-20 season and told the players, "I don't give a f--- about you."

Other alleged incidents by Hillsman included unwanted touching, kisses on the forehead and refusing players' requests for water after strenuous drills in practice. He also hired a staff member who had previously been accused of sexual harassment.

Three players told The Athletic that they had suicidal thoughts related to their time playing for Hillsman, and five players said they had received therapy.

Hillsman, who guided the Orange to the national championship game in 2016, has a 319-169 record at Syracuse and nine NCAA tournament appearances since he was hired in 2006, and his contract runs through 2024.