Letter claims Gillispie verbally abused players at camp
BY BETSY BLANEY Associated Press
Saturday, September 22, 2012
9/22/12 at 6:29 AM
LUBBOCK, Texas - The mother of a teenager at Billy Gillispie's summer basketball camp claims in a letter to a top school administrator that the former Texas Tech coach repeatedly verbally abused her son, according to a document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
The woman wrote that other coaches at the camp told her 17-year-old son that Gillispie "likes to pick someone and try to 'break them' for some reason," and that the young man "wasn't doing anything wrong," according to a letter to Texas Tech's chancellor obtained through an open records request.
Gillispie resigned from Texas Tech on Thursday, citing health concerns after he was hospitalized twice in the past month. The 52-year-old Gillispie stepped down amid allegations he mistreated players on his team.
The mother's name is redacted in the Aug. 20 letter to university chancellor Kent Hance. No written reply was made but Hance called the Texas Tech alum, who is a teacher, to discuss the matter, officials said.
On the camp's first day in late June the woman's son, now a high school senior, overthrew a pass to another camper.
"It happens," the mother wrote in her letter. "That's the only thing he thought brought on the barrage of insults spurted from the mouth of your coach Gillispie. This was the first of many such verbal attacks."
On Aug. 29, several Texas Tech players went to athletic director Kirby Hocutt with claims of mistreatment by Gillispie.
Two days later, the school announced it was scrutinizing Gillispie and his leadership. The same day CBSsports.com reported that Gillispie made players practice long hours, which led to injuries.
Just hours before Gillispie and Hocutt were to meet Aug. 31 to discuss the players' claims, the coach called 911 and was taken to a Lubbock hospital where he stayed for six days. A week later Gillispie traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he said he was treated for kidney problems, abnormal headaches and high blood pressure. He returned to Lubbock on Sept. 14.
Original Print Headline: Letter claims verbal abuse
Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie resigned from his position on Thursday, citing health concerns. Associated Press file