Former SU women’s basketball player Lynnae Lampkins has accused head coach Quentin Hillsman of inappropriate behavior, and her father, Gary, has filed a Title IX sexual harassment complaint against the university, according to USA Today. Not the best week around the Syracuse basketball offices.
Syracuse senior vice president for public affairs, Kevin Quinn, said that Lampkins originally reported the incident to the university in the summer of 2010. SU then used an independent counsel to investigate Lampkins’ accusations, which found no evidence of harassment, Quinn said.
There’s no better way to put the whole situation into perspective than to give you the direct words of each party involved.
Lynnae Lampkins: “I left the team because I couldn’t be around him. He would slap butts and chest bump, and I was very uncomfortable with that.”
She also claims that Hillsman sent her a text over the summer that read, “I love you, I miss you, I can’t wait to see you.”
Kevin Quinn: “The investigation found that there was no substance to the allegations and no basis for action to be taken against coach Hillsman. The university, chancellor and athletic director have full confidence in coach Hillsman and stand behind him.”
Quentin Hillsman’s statement:
“This allegation is untrue and hurtful to me and my family. I have coached hundreds of student-athletes and never faced an accusation such as this. Specifically, the student has expressed concerns regarding a text message and conduct by me that occurred on the court. I utilize text messaging to communicate with our players and staff and the text in question was sent to multiple players and reflects my sentiments about the team, not a specific player. If you know me, you know that I am very enthusiastic about the game of basketball and our players. I regret if my enthusiasm was misinterpreted.”
Department of Education Spokesman: Lampkins’ complaint to the DOE Office for Civil Rights alleged, “that Syracuse subjected a student to sexual harassment and failed to take appropriate action in response to a complaint of sexual harassment. In addition, that complaint alleges the university retaliated against the student in response to the filing of a complaint.”
Syracuse did not include Lynnae on this season’s roster. She did not report to the team at the beginning of the fall semester, as is required by the program, and did not go to any team practices. But her father still accused SU of a cover-up. “Either they retaliated because she filed a complaint and you’re upset about that, or what you’re attempting to do is take her off the roster to cover it up so nobody asks any questions.”
The Fizz sees no need to rush to judgment with regard to a pending sexual harassment claim. One thing we can say is that this took everyone on campus by surprise. Prior to now, it is tough to recall anything negative ever being uttered about Coach Q as a person.
A source close to the basketball program tells The Fizz he is “very surprised” such a complaint is coming from Lampkins, as well. Having spent time with her last season, the source says he always thought of Lampkins as an extremely positive person, and just didn’t envision something like this happening that involved her.
If there’s one person happy not completely distressed about this story, it could be Jim Boeheim (assuming The Per’fesser is confident his counterpart did nothing wrong). It’s always nice when a story comes along to temporarily take the focus off your struggling team and malcontent backup point guard. Here’s guessing this is not what Fizz readers had in mind when they requested more hoops coverage.
Posted: Andrew Kanell