Texas Tech has suspended men’s basketball coach Mark Adams for what the school is calling an “inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment.”
According to the school, Adams was encouraging a player to be more receptive to coaching and “referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters.” Adams apologized to the team after he found out the player was upset about the use of the Bible verse, a source told ESPN.
Athletic director Kirby Hocutt was made aware of the incident. He issued Adams a written reprimand but then made the decision to suspend the coach to conduct a “more thorough inquiry of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.”
Texas Tech finished its regular season with a home loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, the Red Raiders’ third straight loss. After a 10-2 start to the season, Texas Tech went 5-13 in Big 12 play and is 16-15 overall. The Red Raiders face West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 tournament Wednesday.
Adams was already under pressure from influential people around the program because of Texas Tech’s disappointing season, sources told ESPN. He signed a contract extension last spring that runs through the 2026-27 season and would pay him $15.5 million over five years.
If Adams were fired without cause, he would be owed 60% of what is remaining on his contract: more than $7 million.
Adams, 66, graduated from Texas Tech in 1979 and has been a coach with the Red Raiders since 2016, first as an assistant under Chris Beard and the past two seasons as Beard’s replacement. He also spent two seasons as the program’s director of basketball operations under Tubby Smith from 2013 to 2015.
Prior to joining the Texas Tech staff, Adams was a longtime college coach in Texas, making stops at five schools over 30 years.