Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Mark Adams has been suspended after making a biblical reference deemed “racially insensitive” by the university.
In a statement, Texas Tech said the following:
Texas Tech University has suspended men’s basketball head coach Mark Adams in relation to the use of an inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment last week.
On Friday, Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt was made aware of an incident regarding a coaching session between Adams and a member of the men’s basketball team. Adams was encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters. Adams immediately addressed this with the team and apologized.
Upon learning of the incident, Hocutt addressed this matter with Adams and issued him a written reprimand. Hocutt subsequently made the decision to suspend Adams effective immediately in order to conduct a more thorough inquiry of Adams’ interactions with his players and staff.
The verse referenced in the statement is Ephesians 6:5, which states, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
In an interview with Stadium, Adams insisted the comments were not meant to be racially charged.
“I said that in the Bible that Jesus talks about how we all have bosses, and we all are servants,” said Adams.
He also disputed the assertion in the school’s statement that he apologized to the team.
“I explained to them. I didn’t apologize,” said Adams.
The suspension was issued by Texas Tech’s athletic director, Kirby Hocutt.
Texas Tech, like other public universities in Texas, is governed by a board of regents that is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. All members of Texas Tech’s Board of Regents have been selected by Gov. Greg Abbott.