Texas Tech men’s head basketball coach Mark Adams has stepped down from his role, the university announced on Wednesday, days after he was suspended for what the school called an “inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment.”
Texas Tech director of athletics Kirby Hocutt determined that the comment was “unintentional and an isolated incident,” and Adams apologized to the team immediately following the comment, the school’s press release reads.
But Adams decided the incident was too much of a distraction for the school, the coach said in the release.
Hocutt had been made aware of the incident Friday between Adams, who is White, and a member of the men’s basketball team, according to a Texas Tech statement Sunday announcing Adams’ suspension.
“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,” the release said.
According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium sports network, Adams said the comments he made were not racist, adding that he was quoting a Bible verse about how there is “always a master and a servant,” when speaking to a player.
“I was quoting the Scripture,” Adams said, according to Stadium. “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.”
In Wednesday’s statement, Adams said his “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,” Adams said.
Texas Tech finished its regular season with three straight losses after starting 10-2. The Red Raiders lost to West Virginia 78-62 in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday, dropping the program’s record to 16-16 on the season.