Controversy is swiftly emerging in Lubbock, Texas, after the Texas Tech Red Raiders have suspended head basketball coach Mark Adams.
The school made the announcement Sunday via a news release.
“Texas Tech University has suspended men’s basketball head coach Mark Adams in relation to the use of an inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment last week,” the statement began.
“On Friday, Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt was made aware of an incident regarding a coaching session between Adams and a member of the men’s basketball team,” the statement continued. “Adams was encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters. Adams immediately addressed this with the team and apologized.”
Of note, the school did not offer any more specifics about the purported “Bible verses” that contained the salacious verbiage.
Some, such as conservative pundit Jason Whitlock, took to Twitter to note that no aspect of the Bible should ever be deemed “racially insensitive,” as it’s the word of God.
The Bible is not the enemy of black people. It’s the word of God. There’s no passage in the Bible that is “racially insensitive.” This is absolutely embarrassing. It’s an abomination. Everyone at Texas Tech should be ashamed. https://t.co/iBqvMTteKI
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) March 5, 2023
“This is absolutely embarrassing. It’s an abomination. Everyone at Texas Tech should be ashamed.”
The school noted that, originally, it had only issued a “written reprimand,” before quickly upgrading the punishment.
“Upon learning of the incident, Hocutt addressed this matter with Adams and issued him a written reprimand. Hocutt subsequently made the decision to suspend Adams effective immediately in order to conduct a more thorough inquiry of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff,” the Sunday statement concluded.
According to basketball reporter Jeff Goodman, prospects look grim for Adams — especially when factoring earlier allegations that Adams spat on his own player.
There was also a separate incident earlier in season school is also investigating in which Adams spit on a player.
Adams told Stadium he had gone to the doctor, had a bad cough and slobbered on the player during the game.
“I can spit on you whenever I want to,” one person… https://t.co/hBABwp06b8
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 5, 2023
Per Goodman, Adams has since denied — or at least denied remembering — an incident in which he was alleged to have said, “I can spit on you whenever I want to.”
A cynical view of this situation may suggest that the school could be blowing this out of proportion, perhaps even intentionally.
According to ESPN, “Adams was already under pressure from influential people around the program because of Texas Tech’s disappointing season.”
Indeed, it has been a steady, but noticeable, decline for Red Raiders basketball.
It was just a few years ago in 2019 that Texas Tech rode its torrid athleticism and relentless defense to the national championship game against Virginia. Even though Texas Tech lost 85 – 77 that night, the future looked bright.
Fast forward to 2023, and Adams (who has since replaced then-head coach Chris Beard, who is now at the University of Texas) has overseen a disastrous 5-13 finish to a season that promisingly started 10-2.
For the actual players of the Red Raiders basketball team, this distraction could not come at a more disruptive time.
Sitting at a pedestrian 16-15 record, the Red Raiders would need an incredibly impressive outing during the Big 12 Tournament to even get close to being considered for the much beloved March Madness tournament. Texas Tech will play West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, which begins Wednesday.
Whether or not Adams will be around to coach any of those potential March Madness games could come down to money.
Adams just recently signed a contract extension that would tie him to Lubbock through the 2026-2027 college basketball season. The contract totals $15.5 million over five years.
If fired without cause, he would be owed 60 percent of what is remaining on the contract, which according to ESPN, is over $7 million.