Texas Tech suspends basketball coach for racially insensitive comments

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech has suspended head basketball coach Mark Adams for an “inappropriate, unacceptable and racially insensitive comment” he made to a player on Sunday.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt said Friday that he was made aware of the incident and issued a written reprimand before deciding to suspend Adams pending further investigation.

The incident occurred during a tackle between Adams and an unidentified player, the school said in a news release.

“Adams encouraged the student-athlete to be more committed to coaching and cited Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents and slaves serving their masters,” the report said. “Adams immediately contacted the team and apologized.”

The school did not immediately say who would fill in for Adams as coach for the Big 12 tournament. Texas Tech (16-15, 5-13 Big 12) is the ninth seed and plays West Virginia in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday night.

Adams, 66, is in his second season. He replaces Chris Byrd, who left to coach his alma mater, Texas State. Beard was fired by the Longhorns this offseason after being charged with domestic violence; prosecutors later dropped the charges.

The Red Raiders made the Sweet 16 in Adams’ first season, but have started 0-8 in the Big 12 this season. The team’s hopes for a fifth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament are slim.

Three years ago, Pat Chambers resigned at Penn State after one of his former players said he wanted to “loosen the noose around his neck” when the coach talked to the player about helping him reduce stress. Chambers was hired as the Florida Gulf Coast coach this offseason.

During the 2020-21 season, Creighton coach Greg McDermott apologized for telling his team to “stay put” after a loss. McDermott was suspended for one game.

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