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Billy Gillispie Reprimanded for Practice Time Violations, Hocutt Says Allegations "Serious Issues"

Feb 27, 2012; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Billy Gillispie looks on during the second half against the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center.  Baylor won 77-48. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 27, 2012; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Billy Gillispie looks on during the second half against the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center. Baylor won 77-48. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

There are mornings when I cannot wrap my head around where I should start. This is one of those mornings. Yesterday in the comments to yesterday's post, I linked to a couple of things that I thought I would put on the front page, the first being from Kentucky Sports Radio, which detailed why then Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie was fired, CBS Sports Gary Parrish opining that Gillispie is done at Texas Tech for the single reason that with these allegations will make it incredibly difficult to recruit and you can listen to CBS Sports Jeff Goodman interview on 1340 The Fan. Interesting as Goodman said that he has been working on his story from yesterday for at least a year and he had talked with a handful of former players and former staff members, at least 25 or 30 people overall. Goodman also says that if Associate Head Coach Chris Walker got the job then Wannah Bail would be in Lubbock and he also says that Jeremy Cox and Walker are not like Gillispie.

Yesterday afternoon Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt addressed the situation. You can watch the video, or you can read LAJ's Nick Kosmider and Don Williams or DT's Zach Dischiano summary. Here's Hocutt from the LAJ:

"If this investigation proves that there were further NCAA rules violations — and again, at this point in time everything has been alleged — then I’m going to be very disappointed and we will handle it accordingly," Hocutt told the Avalanche-Journal.

Asked if Gillispie could be fired, Hocutt did not answer directly.

"We’ve got some serious issues on the table that we’re working through," Hocutt said. "What the end result is, I don’t want to speculate. I can’t get ahead of myself here. We’ve got to take it day by day, step by step. We will get to the right place."

Hocutt didn’t provide an exact timeline for a decision on Gillispie’s status, but he hinted the process could move quickly.

"We’re going to move as expeditiously as possible," Hocutt said, "but I can’t speculate how long that’s going to be. ... "Practice starts officially approximately a month from now, so it is a time-sensitive manner that we will handle accordingly."

So here's what I think is happening:

* The allegations about practicing more than the NCAA allowed time is apparently true and that Gillispie and Texas Tech have already served those practice time violations. That is damning.

* Gillispie is still in the hospital. It was originally reported that Hocutt had not visited with Gillispie at all. That is not true. Hocutt has seen Gillispie every day in the hospital, or at least attempted to, but has not met formally about the player allegations.

* Hocutt was supposed to meet with Gillispie last Friday, but that meeting did not take place.

* This is speculation, but I think at this point Hocutt is not going to terminate or affirm Gillispie's employment while Gillispie is in the hospital and that Hocutt is going to wait until Gillispie has been released.

* Given Goodman's statement about Walker and Bail and that if Walker was given the interim job that Bail would be in Lubbock, I think that Bail has twelve class days to be in class. I think we are on class day number eight. There is a time-frame here if Hocutt wants to see this happen.

* Hocutt's use of the phrase, "serious issues," and if the allegations are true, Hocutt would be, "very disappointed," cannot be good news for Gillispie.

* Kentucky beat-writer John Clay wrote this this morning:

True, it's a fine line coaches walk, the one between discipline and abuse, between motivation and just plain meanness. The best ones know how far they can go without crossing that line.

Still, there's a reason Bob Knight isn't coaching anymore and it's not his age. Today's best players don't want to play for the type of coach who exercises power through fear and bullying.

They don't have to play for that kind of coach, either, because there are too many other good coaches out there who don't follow in those worn-out footsteps.

Today's players want a coach who will show them how to get better, not a coach who will make them play through a stress fracture.

Read more here:

There were some players that Tweeted (I don't have time to find those tweets, but the players were Jaye Crockett and Josh Gray) that pain is temporary and that some of the players are soft. I think this is why Hocutt has to work through this process determine if the player abuse did happen (forcing players to practice despite having a stress fracture seems like the most grievous offense).

* I think that Gillispie is done at Texas Tech. Again, this is speculation on my part, but the allegations regarding the practice violations were already proven to be true and it wouldn't surprise me that it is true regarding the treatment of players. I never wanted to be right about this. Part of me does not want to be right about this even right now. I want players to be motivated and pushed to practice hard, but not the way that Gillispie is doing it. Gillispie learned to coach from Kansas coach Bill Self. These sorts of things for Self have never been alleged, and from all accounts, Self is a teacher and motivator, and I think Gillispie has really lost his way.