Mar 7, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders forward Jordan Tolbert (32) drives to the basket against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first half of the first round of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
As has been widely reported, these two things happened yesterday:
1. Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie has taken indefinite sick leave, (via LAJ's Nick Kosmider); and
This hasn't been a good situation since last week and with Gillispie's sick leave absence being under the Family Medical Leave Act prevents Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt from terminating or probably even dealing with Gillispie at all. I would also imagine that if a replacement is found and hired, then I could imagine that Gillispie and or his attorneys would argue that he was effectively terminated as a result of a hire. Attorneys and laws ruin even simple firings.
I'm torn about Tolbert because this isn't just one guy that's not good and was maybe disgruntled about Gillispie. This is a wide range of players. Kevin Wagner is a coach's son, he knows probably better than most what it means to be pushed, but I think the problem last year was that Wagner was injured and Gillispie may have wanted Wagner to play on that injury that eventually shut Wagner down for the year. Kader Tapsoba is from Burkina Faso. Having to been to Africa I can assure you that Africa is not an easy place to live and has probably seen more hardship in a year in Africa than you and I have seen in a lifetime. Wannah Bail doesn't want to play for Gillispie and is apparently in Spain with Michael Carey. He went all the way to Spain to get away. Freaking Spain! If the thought is that Gillispie just needs to find tougher players, well, he's already run through 15 players since he arrived. He's had plenty of time to find "his" players because he cut almost every player that Pat Knight had recruited. We tend to forget about guys like Theron Jenkins and Paul Cooper that were dropped when Gillispie arrived with only a year to go and graduate.
I guess my biggest problem is that either narrative, the players are wimps or Gillispie is an abusive tyrant, are bad options in this situation so we as fans lose.
I can't say that there is any sort of update as of this morning, but today is a new day. As far as links for this story for this morning you can listen to the podcast from The Williams & Hyatt Show with Kosmider. They talk about the comment that Hocutt said regarding Gillispie and when he was initially reprimanded with the NCAA practice violations and that this resulted in a zero tolerance policy going forward. Kosmider also drops at the end of the interview that Hocutt has communicated with the support staff and is keeping them in the loop. Give it a listen. In completely unrelated news, SAEN's Buck Harvey thinks that Gillispie could eventually be hired by the Spurs. I could totally see this happening.