Hiring of Former Syracuse Head Coach Quentin Hillsman By Ole Miss Women's Basketball Faces Backlash

Feb 28, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman reacts to a play
Feb 28, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman reacts to a play / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

On April 3, Ole Miss Women's Basketball announced the hire of former Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman as an assistant coach. The move faced much backlash from the media and women's game fans.

Hillsman's appointment as an assistant coach for the women's basketball team was a surprise for many Ole Miss fans. After all, he resigned as Syracuse's head coach only three years ago amidst an external investigation. The investigation was prompted by serious allegations of unwanted physical contact, threats, and bullying, which were made by several former players.

However, the Ole Miss Athletics Department and current head coach Yolett-McPhee-McCuin have faced significant media backlash after Hillsman's appointment. Several media outlets have criticized the decision, citing the allegations against Hillsman and the potential impact on the team's reputation.

Several Media Outlets Express Concerns Over the Hiring of Hillsman

Since the announcement on April 3, several media writers have been vocal about the potential impact the appointment could have on the women who bravely came forward against Hillsman.

The Athletic writer Chantel Jennings released an article expressing significant concerns about the appointment and the repercussions for the young women and coaches involved. Jennings used the headline "Ole Miss women's basketball hiring sends 'sickening' message." It was a strong message from a woman in the media covering women's basketball.

The article by Chantel Jennings is just one of many that continue to be published, keeping the controversy alive. This puts the Ole Miss Athletics Department in a difficult position. However, the University has released a statement regarding the appointment.

The Ole Miss University stated it "conducted its standard vetting procedure on Coach Hillsman, including a comprehensive background check." Is this enough for Ole Miss fans to feel comfortable with the appointment? At the end of the day, they have the right to express their feelings about the situation.

Will the Appointment of Hillsman Have Recruiting Repercussions for Ole Miss?

A question that will be answered when future recruiting plays out is whether it will affect commitments coming to Ole Miss.

"He is an excellent recruiter at both the national and international levels. Hillsman is a tremendous addition to my coaching staff." McPhee-McCuin said in a university press release.

From the outside, high school recruiting and transfer portal activity could affect Ole Miss. With all the media articles and the released findings from the external investigation, it wouldn't be a shock that some players who may have considered Ole Miss now would have enough questions to avoid playing for the Rebels.

As the situation unfolds, it will be intriguing to see how the next month plays out for the current players on the Ole Miss team and potential recruits.