Red Raiders meet Texas Tech Compliance with complaint against Billy Gillispie
Texas Tech players met with the school’s athletic director Kirby Hocutt on Friday, expressing their concern over the way Billy Gillispie’s overworked the players and overall dealt with them. An initial evaluation was conducted by the compliance department, who individually asked players about the hours Billy Gillispie typically allocated to training following claims from former players that practice frequently exceeded NCAA’s assigned 20 hours per week.
After the meeting, the Texas Tech players voluntarily met with Kirby Hocutt, jointly submitting their complaints.
Later, Kirby Hocutt met with Texas Tech associate athletic director Blayne Beal to discuss the team leadership situation, and an official statement was released on behalf of both school officials:
"We are aware and are looking into concerns within the leadership of our men's basketball program,” said Blayne Beal. “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.''
Texas Tech players coming out of the meeting stated that the meeting with the compliance department revolved around the coaching experience, practice hours and the general attitude of Billy Gillispie.
"Compliance wanted to know what's going on…in practice (and) everything within the program,” said one Red Raiders player who wanted his name to be kept confidential.
Although he praised the coach for being a "good coach, teacher and mentor,” still the player noted that Billy Gillispie wasn’t that approachable. However, he found particular with Billy Gillispie’s "mental games'' which made practice every day “hard.”
Another Red Raiders stated Billy Gillispie was caught off-guard with the issue of the meeting but promised from the day forward to make college a fun and memorable experience for them.
While the first player expressed that Billy Gillispie’s job wasn’t threatened and none of the Red Raiders were considering a transfer, the second Texas Tech player sketched a completely different picture
The feeling is that some guys will leave if (Billy Gillispie) stays, maybe some of the new guys or some of the old guys,” said the second Red Raiders player. “We all have to talk to our families first.''
He also made it a point to mention that the Red Raiders “really like the assistant coaches.” Bubba Jennings, Chris Walker and Jeremy Cox are the most well-known assistant coaches at Texas Tech.
Second-year coach Billy Gillispie led the Red Raiders to a disappointing 8-23 after replacing Pat Knight last season. At the end of Billy Gillispie’s first-year, six Texas Tech players Cameron Forte, Kevin Wagner, Terran Petteway, DeShop Minnis Javerez Willis and Jaron Nash transferred to other colleges.
Billy Gillispie previously coached Kentucky for two seasons before developing differences and signing a settlement of $3 million with school officials on his departure in October 2009. He stayed away from the coaching scene for two years before taking the Texas Tech. Billy Gillispie also had successful coaching careers at Texas A&M and UTEP.