LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Tech athletic director says coach Billy Gillispie is no longer making day-to-day decisions for the basketball program so he can focus on his health.
Kirby Hocutt said Tuesday that he told Gillispie late last week that he was not “to engage” in the program in “any way” until the two talk face to face about allegations of player mistreatment.
Gillispie called 911 and was taken to the hospital Aug. 31, the same day he was supposed to meet with Hocutt about the allegations. The school says it is investigating Gillispie’s leadership of the program. Gillispie left the hospital Sept. 6.
Texas Tech said Gillispie is on indefinite sick leave and that he was reprimanded in January for exceeding the NCAA’s weekly practice limit, violations it has reported.
Athletics department spokesman Blayne Beal said Monday that Gillispie is taking sick days and it was not clear how long he will be out. Gillespie, who is entering his second year as coach of the Red Raiders, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The school announced Aug. 31 that it had opened an investigation into alleged mistreatment of players by Gillispie. Earlier that day and hours before he was to meet with Hocutt, Gillispie called 911 and was taken to a Lubbock hospital. He told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal he thought he was having a heart attack or a stroke. He released after six days in the hospital.
Last Wednesday, Hocutt said players met with him to discuss how they were being treated by Gillispie.
“If these allegations are proven to be true then I will be extremely upset and disappointed and will handle accordingly,” Hocutt said then. He declined to say whether that could include Gillispie being fired and said he was “very troubled” by the information players had given him.
Hocutt last week announced that the school had reprimanded Gillispie in January for exceeding practice-time limits the previous fall. The letter included language that there would be “no tolerance for disregard of rules,” Hocutt told The Associated Press.
The school penalized itself for the overage, docking twice the number of hours that Gillispie had exceeded during a two-week period in October or 12 hours and 20 minutes. An unidentified assistant coach was also reprimanded.
The NCAA allows 20 hours of practice per week.