Texas Tech basketball players reportedly dismayed with coach Gillispie
Lubbock, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Texas Tech players reportedly have met with athletic director Kirby Hocutt to vent their displeasure with the way second-year coach Billy Gillispie is treating the team.
According to sources, the players were initially summoned to meet individually with members of the compliance department about the number of hours they were being asked to practice.
After the meeting with compliance officials, the players met with Hocutt as a group, which was confirmed by associate athletic director Blayne Beal, who is in charge of communications.
Beal said the school was informed early Friday morning that Gillispie was hospitalized in Lubbock. Beal said he didn’t know why the coach was hospitalized and had no further details on his condition.
“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,” Hocutt said in a statement released through Beal.
After replacing Pat Knight in March 2011, Gillispie led the team to a disappointing 8-23 overall and 1-17 in the Big 12 in his first season in Lubbock. He was previously the head coach at Kentucky, Texas A&M and Texas-El Paso and a former assistant under Bill Self at Tulsa and Illinois.
A returning player who spoke on condition of anonymity said compliance summoned them to know what’s going on with the team, including practice, way they were being coached, practice hours and their relationship with Gillispie.
“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,” the player said.
A second player said Hocutt was surprised with the team’s displeasure with Gillispie.
“When some of the players told him, he said he was going to try and make it best for us and enjoy the career that we have at Tech. The feeling is that some guys will leave if Gillispie stays, maybe some of the new guys or some of the old guys. We all have to talk to our families first,” the second player said.
Several Texas Tech players from the 2011-12 roster have left the team after Gillispie’s first season, including Cameron Forte, DeShon Minnis, Jaron Nash, Terran Petteway, Kevin Wagner and Javarez Willis.
For Gillispie, it was not the first time that he was complained by players. He was fired as Kentucky’s head coach in 2009 after just two years on the job for his “tough love” type of coaching tactics.