The Red Raiders men's basketball program remains in a state of chaos ever since it agreed to hire Bob Knight as their head coach in 2001. Knight led the Red Raiders to an Elite Eight and made them nationally relevant, but only for a while. He was eventually exposed as an aging coach who didn't want to recruit, and simply was living on his many accomplishments compiled at Indiana.
His power play to put his son, Pat, in as his replacement should never have been allowed. But the Knight name continued to keep Red Raider basketball relevant, even when they weren't winning.
Now Red Raider basketball is relevant for the wrong reasons.
This evening, the school announced that Billy Gillispie resigned after one season as the head coach for "health concerns". The fear of getting fired does have a tendency to affect one's health.
Gillispie is quitting because he finished 8-23 in his first year in Lubbock, and a vast majority of his players went behind his back to the athletic director to complain about being mistreated. Basically, Gillispie was handed a score of players he never wanted as holdovers from the Pat Knight era and he was very likely trying to run as many of them as he could off so he could find better replacements.
Gillispie was coaching with an invisible no-tolerance policy after he left Kentucky. He had a history of pushing players at Kentucky, which got him in trouble, which happened to coincide when the Wilcats weren't winning the way Ashley Judd is used to her Wildcats winning.
It's hard to blame Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt too much. Hiring Gillispie seemed like an ideal fit for a program looking to rebuild after the Pat Knight hire flopped. Gillispie seemed like the idea fit for both Tech and Lubbock. I thought Hocutt should have ridden this out and kept Gillispie, but to do otherwise is understandable.
With the start of practice only a few weeks away, Tech is all but assured of another losing season. The Red Raiders should be in no hurry to find Gillispie's replacement and just flush the year to patiently find the right guy.
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