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Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie hospitalized in Lubbock

Second-year coach experienced what he said felt like "a stroke or a heart attack"

Posted: August 31, 2012 - 12:06pm
Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie has been hospitalized at University Medical Center in Lubbock. On Friday ESPN reported Texas Tech players were upset with the way they were treated by Gillispie.  Zach Long/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Zach Long/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie has been hospitalized at University Medical Center in Lubbock. On Friday ESPN reported Texas Tech players were upset with the way they were treated by Gillispie.
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Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie has been hospitalized at University Medical Center after experiencing what he said felt like "a stroke or heart attack."

Gillispie told the Avalanche-Journal in a telephone interview Friday that he called 911 at about 5 a.m. Friday after experiencing severe pain. The second-year Tech coach said he was told his blood pressure was at dangerous levels.

"It was the worst I've ever felt," he said.

Gillispie, 52, said he has been dealing with stress but has never experienced any other health scares, adding that this was the first time he has ever been hospitalized.

The coach said he would remain hospitalized overnight Friday, but he was unsure exactly how long his stay at UMC would last. 

Gillispie underwent an ultrasound at about noon Friday, UMC spokesman Eric Finley said.

Gillispie’s hospitalization comes on the heels of an announcement from Tech that it is looking into concerns raised by players over the way they have been treated by the second-year coach.

Blayne Beal, Tech's associate athletics director of communications, confirmed to the Avalanche-Journal that members of the team met with athletic director Kirby Hocutt to discuss concerns about Gillispie. That meeting was first reported Friday by ESPN.com.

“We are aware and are looking into concerns within the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” Beal said. “Student-athlete well-being is our No. 1 priority and is a matter we take extremely seriously at Texas Tech. We are devoting our full resources to look into this matter.”

Gillispie said he was unaware of the reports and declined comment on their contents.

"There will be an appropriate time to talk about that," Gillispie said. "Right now I'm trying to get better."

The ESPN.com report published Friday anonymously cited two returning players who said players met with Hocutt to discuss the way they were being treated by Gillispie during practices.

One player told the website that Gillispie is a "good coach, teacher and mentor, but he's not the most personable person, not the coach you can go and talk to. He breaks you down. But he doesn't build you back up. It's hard to play for him when that happens every day. You feel like you're getting torn down and you can't get back up."

CBSSports.com released a report later Friday citing former players who said Tech exceeded the NCAA limits on practice hours, adding that one November practice lasted as many as eight hours.

One former player reached by the Avalanche-Journal, who asked that his name not be used, confirmed the contents of the website's report, saying practices routinely exceeded time limits. He declined to discuss further details.

Six players transferred from Tech -- Nash, Kevin Wagner, DeShon Minnis, Javarez Willis, Terran Petteway and Cameron Forte -- following a 2011-2012 season in which the Red Raiders went 8-23 overall and 1-17 in Big 12 play.

Beal said the school was made aware that Gillispie had been hospitalized Friday morning.

“That is the information that we have been given,” Beal said.

Check back with LubbockOnline.com for more details. 

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3
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Wow.

This is not good.

3
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I have a strange feeling

I don't think this will end well...

5
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Student athlete well being

If Tech is concerned about student athlete well being, why did they hire Bobby Knight who was notorious for abusing his players.

3
7

Setup

Do I smell a setup coming from the administration building?

5
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@4MIKELEACH

Actually Hance didn't hire him, the AD did. And how is your love for Mike Leach doing? 6 points and no touchdowns....ouch!

4
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naive

Yeah, the AD hired him. Corporations make org charts for those like atxraider. No clue.

It was awesome seeing Leach back on the sidelines. They weren't expected to win in Provo, but at least we were looking at someone honest and not someone involved in investment fraud and ponzi schemes, hired by the lawyer lobbyist politician who built a church in his name on campus. Gaaawwwddd help your naive self.

2
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as for BCG

Hope his hospital habitation has honest healing.

Hiding his health history has hurt Hocutt/Hance.

7
2

^ LOL

Keep telling yourself that LODOTX, cause I'm pretty sure you sat in those meeting and knew who hired who right?

9
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LodoClueless

YouIre the naive one here. Oh let's defend Mikey, he wasn't suppose to win in Provo. -5 (that's minus for the naive) -5 yards total rushing. Hadn't seen that before. 224 total yards bahahahaha How about his halftime interview (if you want to call it that) was ruder than Bobby ever was. He didn't have time to address his fans questions. Never seen that either bahahahaha. At Texas Tech, Mike Leach's teams averaged more than 37 points per game for 10 seasons. Washington State scored just 6 in Leach's debut. That's the fewest points a Mike Leach team has scored since scoring 6 in a loss at Colorado in 2006 and tied for the 3rd-fewest overall. Yeah, who's naive? MIKEY COULD CARE LESS WHAT YOU OR ANYONE ELSE IN lUBBOCK THINKS, HE NEVER DID AND NEVER WILL. So before you hi-jacked this story like you always do. Here's hoping BCG recovers.

9
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Gillespie and A Great Day of Vindication over Mike Leach

Sure hope Billy Clyde is OK. Hope all my fears are unfounded.

It's a great day. Vindication for all those who approve of firing loyal employees as a result of a later recanted fraudulent report. For firing employees who abide by the terms of their employment agreement. For not allowing due process as described in the governing employment agreement. For cheating the employee out of pay for work completed, and cheating the employee out of an earned bonus, and cheating the employee out of severance pay described in the governing employment agreement.

It's a great day. Vindication accompanied by Divine Goodness.

5
3

Just and objective observation.

I really don't feel strongly one way or another about Tech, though I do have some strong feelings about Hance, and I care next to nothing about sports.

However, just from the view of someone who feels no strong emotions about Tech sports, Tech is not doing as well as it has, at least at some points in the not too distant past.

Transition, malfeasance, incompetence, or just plain bad luck, I don't know.

If you like how things are going, then support the status quo. If not, then don't.

Pray carry on. It can be entertaining to watch folks try to eviscerate each other when one doesn't have an iron in the fire.

Edited to correct an anomaly in the linear concept of a space/time continuum of my post.

4
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@jeffross

Jeff, if you're not going to follow lock step the self-promoting financial opportunists who comprise the leadership in Lubbock, you'd better put on your hard hat in this thread.

You might get stoned. (With rocks)

9
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Some of you people are

Some of you people are beginning to really hack me off !! Mike Leach did not coach basketball at Texas Tech !!! Why all the stupid comments about Leach/Hance, when the column was about the basketball coach and players ? Get a life !!!

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@jeffross

FRF's is right. With this group you can't state an opinion without one side claiming you are on the other and throwing countless verbal stones. I would agree, regardless of the Mike Leach situation, or now the Billie Gillispie situation, it seems our programs are moving in the wrong direction. Hope sincerely I'm wrong. When they hired Bobby Knight I suggested our program was going to suffer, and it has. And when the Mike Leach situation occurred, regardless of blame, I suggested it would set our program back 5 to 10 years. Hope to heck I'm wrong there.

2
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hi-jack

Once again a prior commenter, in this case it was atxraider, brings up Leach, then I have to remind the prior commenter of reality. If the Leach haters would leave the name out of unrelated stories, then you could read my comment about this basketball story:

ESPN breaking news about a Tech coach is about as reliable as a voucher system will be for Medicare when at age 81 someday a senior citizen will deal with their massive private insurance company who have farmed out their call centers to middle India and a phone manned by a 21 year old who can get his tonsils removed for $31,500 less than the 81-year old's grandchild.

Still not about basketball, but Pat Knight was right that Tech doesn't care about men's bb.

8
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new

I agree that our programs are a mess , and had sincerely hoped that Tuberville could bring a defense to go with our offense, which hasn't yet happened, but I still remain optimistic ! I also agree that Bob Knight set the BB program back many years ! Actually, we fired the best basketball coach I recall, in James Dickey !

4
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Bob Knight

The brand new building was empty. They hired Bob Knight. 30 minutes later the building was full. That was good.

Then Knight the great preacher of loyalty walked on the program. It was a short life--but I enjoyed it.

You can make a case for Ronald Ross being the greatest player in the history of the program--because he got the team closer to the Great Eight than any other player. It was a blast.

Sure hope we're not looking at starting over.

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TT coaches

This whole TT thing is soooooooo rich!!! Leach, Tuberville, Knight, Gillespie, Curry! What a bunch of losers! TT hasn't got a chance! Maybe Division II is the answer????

7
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Foxbrier

Fail...Leach wasn't a loser, Knight wasn't a loser...has a couple NC, Gillespie hasn't been a loser has turned around two programs, Tuberville has an undefeated season under his belt, Christie I'm worried about. Don't look in the mirror and post at the same time.

4
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Same old Ax to grind

I find it amusing that the same bitter people post the same old tired argument over and over about a sport that is only played 12 times a year. Perhaps it is an organized effort?

Slandering (no proof in the claims made) a man who has led the formation of a campaign that has brought in over 900 million dollars that not only raises the stature of the academics at Tech, but brings in millions of dollars to the West Texas area is juvenile.

6
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Soft players?

I liked the Billy G hire. Hope this situation straightens out. Could be just "soft players." As for you Leach haters, WSU will get to a bowl game before the Raiders. And Tom T has a 2 year head start. BOOK IT!

6
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It's like .......

throwing fresh meat out to hungry dogs. It's always the same few posters on here who are always hoping for the next opportunity to criticize and stretch out the blame to those who aren't responsible. It doesn't look good but let's hope for the best for everyone.

3
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Soft Players

I agree with kipkooper. I think our athletes are not as tough as they once were. I don't believe the strong work ethic is there. Everyone knows that we often get athletes that were overlooked by larger programs like UT and OK. Therefore, these athletes need to understand that they must work harder than others to be able to compete. We need more Wes Welkers! As far as BCG is concerned, I wish him a speedy recovery and pray that he remains our BB coach. He's turned around every program he's been with. Give him time, let him coach, and WE WILL SEE A WINNING BASKETBALL TEAM!!!!!

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not getting better

Might be time to shut this program down. People don't go to the games, good players won't come here anymore and basketball simply is not football. The arena can still be used for concerts and graduations.

1
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Game day practice?

Is game day practice or whatever the players are complaining about the norm? I thought they rested till the game, or that seems to be the way football programs do.

3
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Poorly Handled

Speaking as a long time manager and small business owner, this was poorly handled if the reports are true. When there is a potential problem, you call in the manager involved. You don't call in his subordinates and ask them to air their complaints. Texas Tech has destroyed any trust or loyalty between the athletic department and coach, and the coach and team. This won't be a good working environment going forward. Too bad, I really thought BCG would get us back into the NCAA tournament and re-energize Texas Tech men's basketball.

4
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Listen people! No wonder the

Listen people! No wonder the man has stress. He invested a mill in a ponzi scheme and lost it. He had a terrible season last year. Now these complaints. These kids are not making this up. I h hope he recovers fully. However these complaints will be investigated and rightly so.

4
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@JEZBUZZ

I'm not sure about the specifics of the game-day practices, but you can't really compare basketball game day routines with football. That's apples to oranges.

I wish Billy best of luck in recovery, I don't personally like the man...especially after his "speech" at the Texas High School Coaches Assocation meeting this year in San Antonio where he embarassed Texas Tech by proclaiming that kids were coming in "stupid and lacking fundamentals" and that he can "think of 2.5 million reasons why he won't coach high school sports"....but I still wish him his health at least.

Overall, I just wish for happier times for Tech. All programs and ALL fans....it's not a good time to be a Raider right now....

3
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Wonder

The hits keep on coming....

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@RedRaider07

Thank you for your response.

I cannot imagine being tired for a game due to earlier practice on game day. Yes, I now FB and BB are different in their approach, but kids are kids and they should be praised when they do something right, told privately their wrongs, but praised when others are listening.

It bothers me when TT is so public about his displeasure with a particular football player. I know that kind of "discipline" has never worked for me personally - in school and years in a very public working environment.

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