Texas Tech coach suspended for ‘racially insensitive’ comment

Pete Thamel and Jeff Borzello2 minute reading

Texas Tech has suspended men’s basketball coach Mark Adams for what the school is calling an “inappropriate, unacceptable and racially insensitive comment.”

According to the school, Adams encouraged a player to be more receptive to coaching and “referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents and slaves who serve their masters.” Adams apologized to the team after learning the player was upset by the use of the Bible verse, a source told ESPN.

Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt was made aware of the incident. He issued Adams a written reprimand, but then made the decision to suspend the coach to conduct a “more thorough investigation into Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.”

Texas Tech ended its regular season with a home loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Red Raiders’ third straight loss. After a 10-2 start to the season, Texas Tech went 5-13 in Big 12 play and is 16-15 overall. The Red Raiders will face West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday.

Adams was already under pressure from influential people around the program because of Texas Tech’s disappointing season, sources told ESPN. He signed a contract extension last spring that runs through the 2026-27 season and would pay him $15.5 million over five years.

If Adams was fired without cause, he would be owed 60% of what remains on his contract: more than $7 million.

Adams, 66, graduated from Texas Tech in 1979 and has coached with the Red Raiders since 2016, first as an assistant under Chris Beard and the past two seasons as Beard’s replacement. He also spent two seasons as the program’s director of basketball operations under Tubby Smith from 2013 to 2015.

Before joining the Texas Tech staff, Adams was a longtime college coach in Texas, stopping at five schools over 30 years.

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