Texas Tech Basketball Coach Suspended Over ‘Racially Insensitive Comment’

Mark Adams says he was quoting scripture when he talked with a player about the master and slave relationship.

Texas Tech suspended men’s basketball head coach Mark Adams for using “an inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment,” the university announced Sunday (March 5).

During a coaching session, Adams, who is white, was encouraging one of his players to be more receptive to coaching by quoting biblical scripture “about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters,” a statement said.

After his comments to the player became an incident, “Adams immediately addressed this with the team and apologized,” the statement noted.

The university’s Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt found out about the situation on March 3 and “addressed the matter with Adams and issued him a written reprimand.”

Hocutt then decided to suspend Adams so he could conduct a deeper probe into the coach’s interactions with his players and staff.

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Adams, 66, has denied that his comments about the master and slave relationship were racist.

“I was quoting the scripture. It was a private conversation about coaching and when you have a job, and being coachable,” Adams told Stadium, a sports news network. “I said that in the Bible that Jesus talks about how we all have bosses, and we all are servants. I was quoting the Bible about that.”

Adams also denied apologizing to the team. Adams said one of his coaches informed him that his slave and master analogy “bothered the player.”

“I explained to them. I didn’t apologize,” Adams added.

According to Stadium, Texas Tech is also investigating a separate incident in which Adams allegedly spit on a player earlier in the season. Adams told the news site that the incident happened during a game while he had a bad cough.

Someone close to the situation accused Adams of telling the player, “I can spit on you whenever I want to.” But Adams said he doesn’t recall making that statement.

Adams, a Texas Tech graduate, is in his second season as head coach after replacing previous Red Raiders coach Chris Beard, according to ESPN. He also served as director of basketball operations under Tubby Smith from 2013 to 2015.

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