Billy Gillispie

Billy Gillispie not to ‘engage’ in program in ‘any way’ until meeting with AD

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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 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.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.