Gillispie under the microscope, not the first time

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Updated: 8/31/2012 9:48 pm

On the eve of Texas Tech's football season kicking off concern and controversy clouds the Red Raiders men's basketball team.

A Texas Tech Athletic Department spokesman confirms Texas Tech Head Basketball Coach Billy Gillispie has been admitted to University Medical Center. FOX 34 is told Gillispie was taken to the emergency room. At last report he was in satisfactory condition, and there is no word on why Gillispie was admitted to the hospital.

However, some players on the men's basketball team went to Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt with a series of complaints, or objections, to some of the ways Gillispie was running the program specifically team practices. 

Former players Kevin Wagner and Jaron Nash told that Gillispie often practiced more than four hours a day and once, last November,went nearly eight hours.

The NCAA permits coaches to practice for no more than four hours per day and 20 per week.

Athletics department spokesman Blayne Beal would only confirm the basics.

"We've been made aware of concerns of the leadership of our men's basketball program, student athletes obviously being our top priority here at Texas Tech," he said. Right now we are devoting our full resources to looking into that matter."

Now Gillispie's known for being a tough coach. Most recently at Kentucky where he was fired after just two years with the Wildcats.

The Athletic Director there was quoted at the time as saying Gillispie "Wasn't the right fit". Player and staff complaints were at the root of that issue as well.

Now, it's Texas Tech which finds itself in an uncomfortable situation.

"It is certainly something we wish was not an issue, especially coming in to our first game day, but I think our fans are extremely excited," Beal said. They have been looking forward to this weekend since we walked off the field in Dallas back in November."

Gillispie was hired at Tech in March 2011 to replace Pat Knight, who was fired after going 50 and 60 over three seasons. Gillispe came to Tech with a 140-85 record compiled during stops at UTEP, Texas A&M and Kentucky.

At UTEP one season after finishing 6-and-24, his record of 24 and 8 was good enough to make the NCAA tournament. It's the biggest year to year improvement in college basketball history. 

He pulled a similar accomplishment at A&M, taking a last place team and immediately making the NIT and two NCAA tournaments in a row.

There is a lot at stake in this investigation. We will continue to follow this story.

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