Texas Tech has suspended men’s basketball coach Mark Adams ahead of the Big 12 Tournament for making a “inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment” to a player last week.
According to a report from last Friday, Red Raiders athletic director Kirby Hocutt was made aware of the incident between Adams and a teammate.
Adams “was encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching by citing Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters,” the release read. Adams apologised to the group instantly.
The moment Hocutt learned of what had happened, he sat Adams down and handed him a formal written reprimand. Hocutt has decided to immediately suspend Adams while he investigates the nature of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.
Neither the interim coach’s name nor the length of the suspension were announced.
Because of his outstanding play last season, the team offered him a five-year, $15.5 million contract that will keep him in the lineup through the 2026-27 campaign. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, if Texas Tech were to fire Adams without cause, the university would be obligated to pay him 60% of the remaining contract.
It is interesting that Adams’ suspension came at the same time that universities in Texas are reviewing their diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in response to a warning from Governor Greg Abbott. Abbott sent a memo to the presidents of all public universities, arguing that diversity policies that take applicants’ backgrounds into account are against the law. Texas Tech is reconsidering its use of DEI evaluation rubrics in particular after receiving criticism from a conservative education advocacy group.
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Adams has issued an apology to the team, according to a statement released by Texas Tech.
Once informed, “Hocutt addressed this matter with Adams and issued him a written reprimand,” as stated in the school’s official statement. Hocutt “decided to suspend Adams effective immediately” in order to look into Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.