Texas Tech suspended head men’s basketball coach Mark Adams on Sunday in relation to “the use of an inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive” comment during an incident with one of this players, the school announced.
According to a release from the university, Adams, 66, 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.
Athletics director Kirby Hocutt was made aware of an incident on Friday, and 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.
Adams, who took over the Red Raiders after Chris Beard departed the program to coach the Texas Longhorns in 2021, made a run to the Sweet 16 in his first season as Texas Tech’s coach, as he rebuilt a depleted roster into a 27-10 team.
Adams’ coaching performance garnered plenty of media attention and earned him an extension, as Adams was named the AP’s Big 12 Coach of the Year as well as Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year.
Beard was fired this season by the Longhorns after he was charged in a felony domestic violence case; prosecutors later dropped the charge.
Despite the successful first year in Lubbock, the Red Raiders failed to continue the momentum this season amid a year of roster turnover. Texas Tech went 16-15 (5-13, Big 12) in the regular season and is the No. 9 seed heading into the Big 12 conference tournament.
Texas Tech is scheduled to face West Virginia it its opening game on Wednesday night, and the school didn’t immediately say who would fill in for Adams as coach in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Red Raiders started 0-8 in the Big 12 this season, and the team’s hopes for a fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament are slim.
Three years ago, Pat Chambers resigned at Penn State after one of his former players revealed the coach said he wanted to “loosen the noose that’s around your neck” when talking to the player about helping him reduce 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 reminding them to stick together. The school didn’t reveal any disciplinary action against McDermott.
The Associated Press contributed to this post.