Billy Gillispie released from hospital

Updated: September 8, 2012, 5:28 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Embattled Texas Tech men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie was released from the University Medical Center in Lubbock on Thursday, according to Red Raiders associate athletic director Blayne Beal.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com that Gillispie, who was admitted last Friday morning, was being treated for high blood pressure.

Gillispie has been under fire for the way he has run the Texas Tech program during his brief tenure at the school.

Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt said by phone Wednesday night that he is "very concerned with the information that has come forward in the last two weeks.''

Hocutt said he would discuss Gillispie's job status once the coach was released from the hospital.

The two were supposed to meet last Friday morning.

Hocutt said he's not the person to comment on Gillispie's health status other than to say he hopes the coach "can make a full recovery and get back on his feet soon."

At least one close friend of Gillispie in the coaching profession said Wednesday that attempts to reach Gillispie have gone unanswered.

Hocutt said the process going forward will be to continue gathering information related to alleged NCAA secondary violations by current and former players involving excessive practice time. ESPN.com reported that current players complained about practice time, while CBSSports.com did the same with former players issuing similar complaints. Hocutt also met with the returning players last week, at least two of whom told ESPN.com that they complained about Gillispie's demanding and punitive coaching style.

Hocutt said he would keep the conversations he had with players private.

"We have an enforcement-investigation policy on campus that we will follow and will continue to go through,'' Hocutt said. "If at a certain time we are able to substantiate secondary violations have occurred, then at that time we will submit those to the Big 12 and the NCAA.''

Hocutt said secondary violations for excessive practice time previously were reported to the NCAA in January during Gillispie's first season with the Red Raiders.

"Those sanctions have been served,'' Hocutt said. "I issued a reprimand that there would be no tolerance for further disregard for rules and that's the process we will continue to move forward with at Texas Tech.''

Hocutt said that excessive practice time penalties are two-for-one, meaning if the coach exceeds practice time by two hours then he has to reduce practice time by four hours during the maximum 20-hour week. He said those penalties were assessed last season.

Hocutt said Gillispie returned from vacation last Tuesday or Wednesday, around the same date that Hocutt was meeting with the returning players. The compliance department initially had contacted the returning players to discuss allegations of excessive practice time.

Hocutt said he will discuss with Gillispie how he can still coach this team since the players met with him about their struggles playing for him.

We have significant issues on the table at the end of the day and we'll be guided by our mission statement and our principles and move this through as expeditiously as we can.

-- Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech AD

"There are a number of significant issues that have come forward,'' Hocutt said.

"We have significant issues on the table at the end of the day, and we'll be guided by our mission statement and our principles and move this through as expeditiously as we can,'' Hocutt said. "I can't speculate how long that will take or what those outcomes will be. We're hopeful that he'll make a full recovery so we can sit down and talk. When that is going to happen and how soon I don't know.''

Hocutt hired Gillispie in 2011, two years after he was fired at Kentucky after just two seasons. Reports of the way Gillispie handled himself at Kentucky weren't foreign at the time. He was consistently known as a tough coach who was demanding while at Kentucky and previous stops at Texas A&M and UTEP.

"Was I worried about any player issues or practice time issues? Obviously. I think this was a chance of a lifetime for him,'' Hocutt said. "We would never hire anybody that we didn't believe was going to fulfill the mission of our department or not be a positive role model or educator or leader for the young people in our program. There were concerns prior to the hire but at the same time we felt like it was going to be a good hire for Texas Tech.''

Hired in March 2011 to replace Pat Knight, Gillispie went just 8-23 (1-17 Big 12) in his first season in Lubbock.

Before his time at Kentucky, he was head coach at Texas A&M and Texas-El Paso and a former assistant under Bill Self at Tulsa and Illinois.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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