March 3, 2012; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Billy Gillispie questions a call during the game against the Missouri Tigers at the United Spirit Arena. Missouri defeated Texas Tech 981-59. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Billy Gillispie has officially resigned as head coach of the Texas Tech basketball program, as reported on Thursday afternoon by Red Raider Sports on Twitter. According to the team's official press release, associate head coach Chris Walker will take over the team until an interim head coach is found.
Gillispie had been accused of various forms of player mistreatment prior to the 2012 season, including installing overly long practices and playing injured players before they were fully healed. He was sent to the hospital because of high blood pressure and chest pains in early September and was recently getting treatment at the Mayo Clinic.
The Red Raiders hired Gillispie as their head coach in March 2011 following a solid coaching career at UTEP and Texas A&M. In his first and only season as Red Raiders coach, Gillispie's team went 8-23 and saw six players transfer out of the program at the end of the season.
Texas Tech men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie is seeking treatment for stress and high blood pressure at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. This comes after an ambulance was sent to Gillispie's home on Monday following a 911 call, according to a report from the Associated Press.
A source told ESPN.com that while it's still unknown when Gillispie will return to Texas Tech, he does intend to coach this season.
"Coach Gillispie is both a great coach and a great man who truly cares about helping young men achieve their dreams and true potential," the source said. "Hopefully, he'll find the answers to his medical issues quickly and be able to return to the Red Raiders and lead their basketball program back into national prominence."
Texas Tech Red Raiders men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie was released from University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, on Thursday, according to a hospital spokesperson.
Gillispie had been in the hospital under care for high blood pressure and chest pain since Aug. 31. Now that he's out, he'll have plenty to deal with, as allegations of mistreatment of players and violations of NCAA limits on practice time have surfaced.
Gillispie was reportedly issued a reprimand in January after Texas Tech self-reported secondary NCAA violations pertaining to the amount of practice time the team had each week, athletic director Kirby Hocutt said Wednesday. He also said he would have a zero tolerance policy toward further violations, which recent allegations suggest may have happened.
If proven true, the allegations could cost Gillispie his job. NCAA rules allow coaches to work with their players for 20 hours a week. A CBSsports.com report filed Aug. 31 quoted a former player, Kevin Wagner, as saying the team practiced "way more than 20 hours a week."
"We used to go more than four hours all the time," added Jaron Nash, who transferred to North Dakota after last season. "I remember that day when we went almost all day. We didn't leave until 9 p.m. or so. It was pretty bad. A lot of guys were really hurt after it. One guy had a stress fracture in both legs."
One source identified that player as African native Kader Tapsoba, who did not play last season while dealing with multiple stress fractures.
There's plenty more nuggets in Goodman's article, including Gillispie's propensity for dangling jobs and scholarship offers in front of recruits and assistant coaches before pulling them at the last minute. He also reportedly forced everyone in attendance the night before a game, including Texas Tech's TV and radio broadcasters, to participate in layup lines at the start of practice, and run stadiums if they missed any shots.
What could really be Gillispie's undoing, though, is the rampant violation of the NCAA's 20-hour-per-week practice rules, which could be enough of a pretext for the Red Raiders to cut ties with the unstable coach.
For more on Texas Tech, be sure to check out their SB Nation blog, Double-T Nation.
Just hours after a story on ESPN.com detailed a potential player mutiny that could threaten the stability of his job, Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie was admitted to a hospital in Lubbock.
In an online report, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal cited a spokesman at University Medical Center who confirmed that Gillispie was in satisfactory condition and underwent an ultrasound procedure around noon. No further details were provided as to the reason behind Gillispie’s trip to the hospital.
The ESPN report from earlier on Friday detailed a recent conversation between Red Raider players, athletic director Koby Hocutt and associate athletics director Blayne Beal. Beal also issued a statement confirming that the meeting had taken place.
“We are aware and are looking into concerns within the leadership of our men’s basketball program. Student-athlete well-being is our top priority and a matter that we take extremely seriously at Texas Tech. Texas Tech is devoting its full resources to look into this matter.’’
Many of the issues raised by the players were similar to complaints heard at the University of Kentucky, where Gillispie coached for two seasons:
The player said that Gillispie is a "good coach, teacher and mentor, but he’s not the most personable person, not the coach you can go and talk to. He breaks you down. But he doesn’t build you back up. It’s hard to play for him when that happens every day. You feel like you’re getting torn down and you can’t get back up.’’
Texas Tech posted an 8-23 record in Gillispie’s first season at the school, and won just one game in Big 12 play. Since the season ended, six players have transferred.