In a surprising development, Texas Tech University announced on Wednesday night that head basketball coach Mark Adams decided to step down from his position. This decision comes just days after the university suspended Adams.
Mark Adams, head basketball coach at Texas Tech, was suspended Sunday afternoon for “inappropriate and racially insensitive comments” during a meeting with one of his players. Adams reportedly encouraged them to be more receptive to coaching, telling them there is “always a master and a servant.”
Athletic director Kirby Hocutt became aware of the incident on Friday and issued a written reprimand before suspending Adams to conduct further investigations. However, the school did not reveal the identity of the player involved.
The statement issued by the school said that Adams “immediately addressed this with the team and apologized.”
In an interview with Stadium, Adams denied his comments were racist, noting that his goal was to use the Bible’s principles to help his team. He explained that he quoted the Bible to discuss the importance of being a servant and following authority. Additionally, he said instead of apologizing, he explained the situation to the team.
“I was quoting the scripture,” Adams said. “It was a private conversation about coaching and when you have a job and being coachable.”
“I said that in the Bible that Jesus talks about how we all have bosses, and we all are servants,” Adams added. “I was quoting the Bible about that.” This approach is consistent with the teachings of the Bible, which emphasize the importance of humility and respect for authority.
As for Texas Tech’s claim that he apologized, Adams called that into question, telling the outlet, “One of my coaches said it bothered the player. I explained to them. I didn’t apologize.”
Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA founder, called for Adams to be reinstated, writing on Twitter, “So players can rap lyrics with the N-word, professors can push anti-white racist screeds, and schools pay six figures for bigots like Nikole Hannah Jones to give speeches. But Texas Tech basketball coach Mark Adams gets suspended for quoting the Bible.”
He concluded, “Reinstate immediately!”
Given this suspension feels farfetched, did Texas Tech hope to relinquish itself of its contractual obligations due to recent poor play from the Red Raiders? According to sources at ESPN, head coach Mark Adams already faced pressure from influential figures following the team’s eight-game skid after starting the season 10-2.
Beginning on December 27th they lost to South Carolina State and would go on to lose against TCU, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas , Baylor, Kansas State, and West Virginia. They eventually rebounded with wins against LSU and Iowa State, but then dropped games to Baylor and Oklahoma State. They would then win four in a row before dropping the last four games of the season including a matchup in the Big 12 Championship against West Virginia. The team currently has a 16-16 overall record and went 5-13 in the Big 12.
Last spring, Adams signed a contract extension that would keep him at the helm until the 2026-2027 season, with a reported salary of $15.5 million over five years. Therein lies the problem, if the decision were made to terminate Adams’ contract without cause, the university would be required to pay over $7 million, equating to 60% of the remaining contract balance.
In its release Wednesday about Adams stepping down, the school said Hocutt determined that the racially insensitive comment was unintentional and an isolated incident. Adams waited until the team was eliminated from the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament before announcing that he was stepping down.
He said, “My lifelong goal was to help and be a positive influence on my players and to be a part of the Texas Tech men’s basketball team. However, both the university and I believe this incident has become a distraction for the Texas Tech men’s basketball team and the university, which I care about so deeply.”
In the end, Adams’ decision to step down as the head basketball coach of Texas Tech marks the end of a brief but eventful tenure. While Adams had a strong association with the university, having graduated from Texas Tech in 1979, his coaching career took him to several other Texas-based universities before he returned to join the basketball program in 2016 as an assistant under former head coach Chris Beard.
When Adams took over as the head coach, he led the team to a 27-10 record and a Sweet 16 appearance in his debut season. Despite the struggles in his second season, Adams’ extensive experience in collegiate coaching and his dedication to Texas Tech basketball are evident. The university has not yet announced the future plans for the basketball program or who will replace Adams as the head coach.
Do you think Mark Adam’s reference to the Bible is ‘racially insensitive?’ Or did the school force him out? Let us know in the comments below.