Texas Tech suspends basketball coach over racially insensitive comment

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

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

The incident occurred in an encounter between Adams and a player, who was not identified, the school said in a news release.

“Adams encouraged the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents and slaves serving their masters,” the statement said. “Adams immediately addressed this with 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 on Wednesday night in Kansas City, Missouri.

The 66-year-old Adams is in his second season. He replaced Chris Beard, who left to coach Texas, his alma mater. Beard was fired this season by the Longhorns after he was charged in a domestic violence case; The prosecution later dropped the charge.

The Red Raiders reached the Sweet 16 in Adams’ first season, but 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 revealed that the coach said he would “untie the noose that’s around your neck” when he talked to the player about helping him with reducing stress. Chambers was hired to coach Florida Gulf Coast this season.

During the 2020–21 season, Creighton coach Greg McDermott apologized for telling his team after a loss to “stay on the plantation” as a way to remind them to stick together. McDermott was suspended for one game.

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