Posted: Friday September 21, 2012 1:31 PM

Mom's letter: Gillispie verbally abused son often

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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - The mother of a teenager at Billy Gillispie's summer basketball camp claims in a letter to a top school administrator that the former Texas Tech coach repeatedly verbally abused her son, according to a document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

The woman wrote that other coaches at the camp told her son that Gillispie "likes to pick someone and try to `break them' for some reason,'' and that the young man "wasn't doing anything wrong,'' according to a letter to Texas Tech's chancellor obtained through an open records request.

Gillispie resigned from Texas Tech on Thursday, citing health concerns after he was hospitalized twice in the past month. The 52-year-old Gillispie stepped down amid allegations he mistreated players on his team.

The mother's name is redacted in the Aug. 20 letter to university chancellor Kent Hance. No written reply was made but Hance called the Texas Tech alum, who is a teacher, to discuss the matter, officials said.

On the camp's first day in late June the woman's son, now a high school senior, overthrew a pass to another camper.

"It happens,'' the mother wrote in her letter. "That's the only thing he thought brought on the barrage of insults spurted from the mouth of your coach Gillispie. This was the first of many such verbal attacks.''

On Aug. 29, several Texas Tech players went to athletic director Kirby Hocutt with claims of mistreatment by Gillispie.

Two days later, the school announced it was scrutinizing Gillispie and his leadership. The same day reported that Gillispie made players practice long hours, which led to injuries.

Just hours before Gillispie and Hocutt were to meet Aug. 31 to discuss the players' claims, the coach called 911 and was taken to a Lubbock hospital where he stayed for six days. A week later Gillispie traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he said he was treated for kidney problems, abnormal headaches and high blood pressure.

He said doctors ordered him to avoid stress for 30 days. Hocutt removed Gillispie from making day-to-day decisions about the program so he could focus on his health.

On Sept. 5, the school disclosed it had reprimanded Gillispie and an assistant in January for exceeding practice-time limits last fall. Hocutt docked the team twice the number of hours that Gillispie had exceeded during a two-week period in October, or 12 hours and 20 minutes.

The NCAA allows 20 hours of practice per week.

Gillispie did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal said Hocutt declined comment on the latest allegations against Gillispie.
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