It’s been a rocky few weeks for head coach Billy Gillispie at Texas Tech.
First, news broke that players had held a meeting with the athletic director Kirby Hocutt to discuss Gillispie’s mistreatment of his players.
That came the same time Gillispie had checked into the hospital, reportedly with high blood pressure, but fearing a heart attack.
And now the latest: According to the Associated Press, Hocutt has told Gillispie that he was not to “engage” in daily operations of the program in “any way” until the two meeting to discuss the developments of the past few weeks.
His first season at Texas Tech in 2011-12 was tumultuous, ending in an 8-23 overall record, including 1-17 in the Big 12. Now reports of mistreatement, including practicing over NCAA limits.
Added to that, 15 players have the program since his tenure began in March 2011.
The most brutal details of Gillispie’s time in Lubbock came from a report from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com that detail the case of Kader Tapsoba, a player who suffered multiple stress fractures but was forced to continue practicing.
“[Tapsoba] was literally crying at practice,” a source told Goodman. “He couldn’t even run and Gillispie had him running up and down the steps at the arena. I remember the doctor getting the X-rays back and coming to practice and telling Gillispie it was really bad. He’d just ice him up and tell him to go practice.”
“He shouldn’t have been practicing,” the source added. “But he bullied everyone, including the trainer. He’d make the trainer make kids come back. Bodies were dropping like flies. One day I walked in and the whole team was in the training room. All the players and even the managers. He’d make them practice.”
So here is Gillispie’s time at Texas Tech, seemingly holding on by its final threads, using sick days to be away from the program since leaving the hospital.
Hard times continue in Lubbock.