ESPN is reporting that Texas Tech head basketball coach Billy Gillispie is checking into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for high blood pressure and stress. This comes after allegations of player mistreatment and NCAA violations.
A source close to Gillispie told ESPN that the coach had wanted to check into the clinic a week ago but had to wait for a spot to open up.
In the last two weeks Gillispie has made two 911 calls concerning his health. On Monday, an ambulance went to his home around 6 p.m. This was just days after he spent almost a week at UMC for having heart attack-like symptoms.
On August 31st, when Gillispie was put into the hospital, Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt was scheduled to sit down with him to discuss the allegations. Those allegations included practicing injured players to point where they cried out in pain, and violating NCAA regulations by over-practicing his players.
Since then, Hocutt says he has not had a chance to speak with Gillispie face to face.
"On Friday when we had a chance to visit over the phone I shared with coach at the current time as we move forward, he was not making the day-to-day decisions related to our basketball program," Hocutt said. "Nor was he to engage with our program in any way until he and I have a chance to sit down and visit face-to-face."
Gillispie is currently on indefinite medical leave. Tech officials say they don't know when he will be back, but the source told ESPN that Gillispie fully intends to coach his Red Raiders this season.
Late Tuesday night, Hocutt released this statement concerning Gillispie's medical leave:
"We hope Billy Gillispie has a full recovery, but we cannot wait forever as we have a basketball team that starts practice soon. In the meantime, Associate Head Coach Chris Walker will assume the responsibility for day-to-day operations of our men's basketball program. Coach Walker will help ensure that leadership and accountability will be in place for our student-athletes, assistant coaches and staff.
"We have been seeking a swift resolution to this issue from the very beginning. We remain committed to communicating with Billy face-to-face regarding the issues relating to the men's basketball program; however, time is of the essence."
ESPN reports that Gillispie's check in to the Mayo clinic comes after a series of events over the last year and a half. Those include the death of Gillispie's mother to lung cancer, followed by losing millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme, the death of a nephew and now allegations of mistreatment at Tech.
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