Big 12 Basketball: Can Texas Tech Afford Another Coaching Mishap?

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 07:   Billy Gillispie head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks on during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys the first round of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament March 07, 2011 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

A group of Texas Tech men's basketball players have met with school administrators and leadership to voice their complaints about how they are being treated and the number of hours they are being required to practice, ESPN's Andy Katz and Jason King reported.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt and associate athletic director Blayne Beal met on Friday to discuss the players' issues. Afterward, Beal released the following statement:

"We are aware and are looking into concerns within the leadership of our men's basketball program. Student-athlete well being is our top priority and a matter that we take extremely seriously at Texas Tech. Texas Tech is devoting its full resources to look into this matter.''

Beal also communicated that the school was informed on Friday that head basketball coach Billy Gillispie was hospitalized in Lubbock. At the time of the announcement, Beal gave no specifics on why the second-year coach was under doctor's care and had no immediate details on his condition. 

Tech has already lived through a recent coaching controversy involving former head football coach Mike Leach. The final result of that unfortunate event was the firing of the colorful gridiron leader.

The basketball program stumbled through last season going 8-23 overall (1-17 in the Big 12), the worst season for the Red Raiders in over 20 years.

University officials must be in some stage of disbelief or even horror that they might be getting ready to go through another high-profile PR nightmare.