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Billy Gillispie Reportedly Violated NCAA Rules in Wake of Allegations

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 07:  Head coach Billy Gillispie of the Texas Tech Red Raiders watches from the bench during the first round of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on March 7, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2012

Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie's career could be in jeopardy following allegations of mistreating players and other NCAA violations, according to a report by CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman.

Gillispie's main violations involved going beyond the NCAA's regulated practice time allotment. According to former players, Gillispie, who went 8-23 in his first season in Lubbock, once forced his team to practice eight hours in one day and regularly went over the 20 hours per week limit. 

Via CBS Sports

"We practiced a lot more than 20 hours a week," former guard Kevin Wagner told CBSSports.com.

"We used to go more than four hours all the time," added Jaron Nash, who transferred to North Dakota after last season. "I remember that day when we went almost all day. We didn't leave until 9 p.m. or so. It was pretty bad. A lot of guys were really hurt after it. One guy had a stress fracture in both legs."

Nevertheless, the mistreatment reportedly did not stop with a simply over-demanding practice schedule. According to Goodman's source, Gillispie would even force players to practice when injured. 

In one instance a player, identified by a source as Kader Tapsoba, openly wept in practice as the Red Raiders coach forced him to play despite multiple stress fractures in his legs.

Here is what the source told Goodman:

He was literally crying at practice. He couldn't even run and Gillispie had him running up and down the steps at the arena. I remember the doctor getting the X-rays back and coming to practice and telling Gillispie it was really bad. He'd just ice him up and tell him to go practice.

If true, these allegations could be the death knell to Gillispie's coaching career. Once a shining star in the coaching world, things have continually fallen apart for the coach since leaving Texas A&M in 2007.

His time at Kentucky is largely seen as a necessary failure to bring in John Calipari, and even without corroboration, these allegations could lead to an early end at Texas Tech. 

For the Red Raiders, this is yet another huge blow for the basketball program. Brought to prominence by legendary coach Bob Knight, Texas Tech has struggled with relevancy since his departure. 

With no NCAA tournament appearances since Knight left, it's likely that it's once again time to rebuild in Lubbock. 

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