Texas Tech suspended Mike Leach on Monday while the school investigated complaints from receiver Adam James and his family about how the player was treated after a concussion, ESPN reports.
James is the son of former NFL player Craig James, now a television sports analyst for ESPN.
Defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill will be the interim coach when Texas Tech plays Michigan State in the Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2.
School officials declined to identify the player, but James' family released a statement to The Associated Press saying it was Adam.
A person with direct knowledge of the complaints told the AP that James, while unable to practice with a concussion, twice was forced to stand in a small, dark place for hours while the team practiced.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the complaint.
James was injured Dec. 16 and the next day was diagnosed with a concussion by team doctors, the person said.
According to the person, James was sequestered at two consecutive practices:
-- On Dec. 17, James said Leach told trainers to put him "the darkest place you can find." James was sent to an equipment shed near the practice field, where a member of the athletic staff checked on James to make sure he did not lean against anything or sit on the floor. James said Leach told him that if he came out he would be kicked off the team.
-- When the team returned to practice two days later, on Dec. 19, James said Leach told trainers to "find the tightest, darkest place" for the player. James, in his street clothes, was put in an electrical closet inside the football stadium for hours, again monitored by a member of the athletic staff.
The James family contacted the university after the second practice, the person said.
Leach's attorney, Ted Liggett, disputed the account.
Adam James "claimed to have been hurt," was examined and diagnosed with a "mild concussion," Liggett told the AP.
"I believe that (Adam James) was a disgruntled student athlete that like many were not happy with their playing time," Liggett said.
He told ESPN.com that James "was placed in an equipment room as it was much cooler and darker" than the practice field. The second time, Liggett told ESPN.com, James was placed in a "press room with air conditioning and a stationary bike he could use."