Last week, a number of reports and allegations of player mistreatment emerged against Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie.
The allegations range from extended practices to practicing injured players to keeping players in scholarship limbo, yet that’s not all. In fact, the number of Red Raiders that have left the program at one point or another under Gillispie currently stands at 15. You can do the math in that time frame considering Gillispie took over the Texas Tech program in March of 2011, just over a year ago.
In addition to the reports of mistreatment, Gillispie was hospitalized last Friday for a health concern relating to high blood pressure. Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt spoke on Wednesday evening to a few members of the media, expressing his opinions on the ongoing situation involving their men’s basketball coach.
Hocutt told ESPN‘s Andy Katz on Wednesday that he is, “very concerned with the information that has come forward in the last two weeks.”
“We have significant issues on the table at the end of the day and we’ll be guided by our mission statement and our principles and move this through as expeditiously as we can.”
According to various reports, Hocutt was expected to meet with Gillispie last Friday morning to discuss that allegations. However, given Gillispie’s health concerns, that meeting never happened, so Texas Tech and their head coach have gone through the past week with uncertainty.
Hocutt and the university will continue to gather information on the alleged secondary violations, which relates directly to Gillispie’s extension of the team’s practice hours. Many ex-players sparked the initial reports on the allegations of mistreatment in saying that NCAA violations occurred.
Hocutt did say that the secondary violations were initially reported to the NCAA back in January, during Gillispie’s first season at Texas Tech.
Gillispie took over the Red Raiders’ program after taking some time away from coaching at the collegiate level. Gillispie was hired at Kentucky back in the spring of 2007, but dismissed after just two seasons. At the time, the head coach was on-the-rise, but since his departure from Texas A&M after the 2006-07 season, things have been all down hill.
Last season is Lubbok, Gillispie’s squad was just 8-23 overall.
There doesn’t appear to be any timetable for a reaction or any other decision from Hocutt, although a meeting with Gillispie will likely take place once the head coach is released from the hospital. With the school year beginning and practice just over a month away from officially beginning, Texas Tech is in a rough spot in terms of waffling on the idea of whether or not to retain Gillispie.
“We have significant issues on the table at the end of the day, and we’ll be guided by our mission statement and our principles and move this through as expeditiously as we can,” Hocutt said. “I can’t speculate how long that will take or what those outcomes will be. We’re hopeful that he’ll make a full recovery so we can sit down and talk. When that is going to happen and how soon I don’t know.”
Here is Hocutt’s statement to the media (video):
Be sure to follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse