E-mails illuminate Gillispie’s departure
by Rachel George, USA TODAY Sports
In the days leading up to Billy Gillispie’s resignation at Texas Tech, members of the university’s Board of Regents were kept informed of the latest reports on the school’s embattled coach.
In e-mails obtained by USA TODAY Sports in response to a Freedom of Information request, Ben Lock – an assistant to chancellor Kent Hance and secretary to the board – forwarded on behalf of the chancellor stories from ESPN and CBSSports.com as well as releases from the athletic department.
On Sept. 6, two weeks before Gillespie resigned, Lock also forwarded a letter from a mother and alumna who said her 17-year-old son was “verbally abused” by Gillispie at a Texas Tech basketball camp in June.
Lock forwarded the letter on behalf of chairman Jerry Turner a week after Gillispie was hospitalized for a then-undiagnosed condition. It was the same day the university said it was examining how Gillispie ran the program after reports about mistreatment of players and staff.
The board received the mother’s letter in the wake of a Sept. 4 CBSSports.com story that recounted myriad player and staff departures, and reported that Gillispie had reneged on promises to coaches and practiced injured players. That followed an Aug. 31 article outlining how Gillispie broke rules on practice time.
Athletics director Kirby Hocutt told The Associated Press in September that the school reprimanded Gillispie for exceeding the NCAA maximums of four hours practice per day and 20 hours per week. The story said the violation occurred in December.
But the documents show the school’s report differs from other accounts of when the violations occurred and how many extra hours the Red Raiders practiced.
Several players spoke of marathon practices which frequently exceeded four hours. Kevin Wagner and Jaron Nash told CBSSports.com that one practice in early November exceeded eight hours.
In the documents released to USA TODAY Sports, the school’s reporting to the NCAA doesn’t indicate that. On Sept. 1, a day after CBSSports.com published the story detailing excessive practice time, a Texas Tech compliance representative e-mailed the story to the NCAA. Jennifer Lisle Brashear, associate athletics director for compliance, e-mailed Chris Strobel, NCAA director … [For more on E-mails illuminate Gillispie's departure from Tech, click here.]