From Comcast SportsNetLUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- An ambulance was sent to the home of Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie for the second time in 10 days while he remains on leave as the school investigates his leadership of the program.Lubbock Police Sgt. Jeff Baker said Tuesday that the emergency call came from Gillispie's home around 6 p.m. Monday and that an ambulance was sent.A spokesman for University Medical Center, where Gillispie earlier spent six days this month, said Gillispie did not come there. A spokeswoman for the other hospital in Lubbock said Gillispie was not brought there.Gillispie, in a text message to The Associated Press late Tuesday, said he would be treated for high blood pressure "amongst other things," at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.Texas Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said Gillispie told athletic director Kirby Hocutt he was going to the Minnesota medical facility for treatment."We hope Billy Gillispie has a full recovery, but we cannot wait forever as we have a basketball team that starts practice soon," Hocutt said in a statement."In the meantime, associate head coach Chris Walker will assume the responsibility for day-to-day operations of our men's basketball program. Coach Walker will help ensure that leadership and accountability will be in place for our student-athletes, assistant coaches and staff."Gillispie is on indefinite sick leave and Hocutt said he is no longer making day-to-day decisions for the basketball program so he can focus on his health."Nor is he to engage with our program in any way until he and I have a chance to sit down and talk face to face," Hocutt said.On Aug. 31, Gillispie called 911 and was taken to the medical center. It was the same day he was supposed to meet with Hocutt to discuss allegations he had mistreated his players. The school has reported excessive practice-time violations to the NCAA and reprimanded Gillispie in January.Gillispie told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Aug. 31 that he felt like he was having a heart attack or a stroke when he called 911. Doctors told Gillispie his blood pressure was dangerously high, the paper reported.The school penalized itself for the practice overage, docking twice the number of hours that Gillispie had exceeded during a two-week period in October or 12 hours and 20 minutes. An unidentified assistant coach was also reprimanded.The NCAA allows 20 hours of practice per week.Hocutt said the school continues to "work through the process" of looking into allegations players brought to him Aug. 29. Gillispie's assistant coaches, with Hocutt's oversight, are handling the program for now.Hocutt did not put a timetable on when he and Gillispie would meet."I can't anticipate given the other issues related to his health," he said. "With basketball season officially starting practice in a month, the sooner the better."Hocutt has declined to say whether Gillispie could be fired. He has said he was "very troubled" by the information players had given him.Hired in March 2011, Gillispie came to Texas Tech after two years out of coaching. The school and fans had hoped he could orchestrate another remarkable turnaround, like the ones he put together at UTEP and Texas A&M.He went to Kentucky in 2007 but the school fired him in 2009 after it went 40-27 in his two seasons and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in 17 years.
I’m liking this 2017 so far. Then again, after 2016, nearly any year would be an improvement.
Just this last weekend we got a flat-earth scandal that turned into a mock-up about media self-importance and fake news (yay Kyrie Irving and his impish sense of satire!).
We got the overblown Russell-Hates-Kevin narrative, and the faux Russell-Secretly-Loves-Kevin counternarrative, all because we are stunningly attracted to meaningless and utterly contrived drama (yay our ability to B.S. ourselves!).
We got the NBA All-Star Game ripped for having no defense even though last year’s game was, if anything, worse (yay short attention span!).
We got the Boogie Cousins trade and the national revulsion of all the thought processes the Sacramento Kings put into this perpetually rolling disaster (yay making Boogie and Vivek Ranadive household names!).
And now we got the Great Sutton United Pie-Fixing Scandal. Yeah, pie-fixing. Hell never felt so fun.
So here’s the deal. Sutton United, a very small fry in English soccer, got to the fifth round of the FA Cup, a competition in which all the clubs in England are commingled and play each other until one team remains. The big clubs almost always win, so any time a small club goes deep, it’s a big deal.
Anyway, Sutton went deeper in the competition than nearly anyone in the last century, a charming development given that it is such a small club that it had a stadium caretaker, goalie coach and backup goalie all in one massive fellow, a 46-year-old guy named Wayne Shaw. Shaw became the globular embodiment of the entire Sutton Experience, a jolly lark for everyone involved and especially when he ate a pie on the bench in the final minutes of Sutton’s Cup-exiting loss to Arsenal.
And now he’s been eased into resigning his jobs with the club, because – and this is so very British – there were betting shops taking action on whether he would in fact eat a pie on the bench, and he either did or did not tip off his pals that he was going to chow down on television.
He did eat the pie. His pals collected on their bets. The sport’s governing body opened an investigation into market manipulation by gambling – which is hilarious given that no fewer than 10 gambling establishments have advertising deals with English soccer clubs. Shaw was invited to quit to kill the story, and he took the hint.
Hey, dreams die all the time. But it’s still pie-fixing. Let that rattle around your head for a minute. Pie-fixing. Not match-fixing. Not point-shaving. Pie-fixing.
Now how can you not love this year?
Sure, it sucks for Shaw, but it serves as a series of cautionary tales for athletes around the world.
* Gambling is everywhere, and every time you inch toward it, you dance on the third rail.
* If you want to help your friends, give them cash.
* This is a horribly delicious way to lose your gig.
* And finally, fun in the 21st century isn’t ever truly fun because someone in a suit and a snugly-placed stick is going to make sure you pay full retail for that fun.
But it is nice to know that something that has never happened before is now part of our year. Pie-fixing is a thing now, as silly in its way as Irving’s flat-earth narrative was. And as we steer away from normal games as being too run-of-the-mill-fuddy-duddy entertainment, we have replaced them with sideshows.
Or do you forget how many people complained Saturday and Sunday that the dunk contest wasn’t interesting enough? How stupid is that?
Lots. Lots of stupid. But against pie-tin-shaped planets and pies turned into betting coups, how can it possibly compare?
We chase a lot of idiotic narratives in our sporting lives. The great What Will The Patriots Do To Roger Goodell story died like the old dog it was. We still try to flog Warriors-Thunder as a rivalry in search of better TV ratings when all the obvious evidence is that it is no such thing unless you think a couple that broke up nine months ago is still a solid story. We have Bachelor fantasy leagues, for God’s sake.
This would leave most normal folks in despair, thus matching their everyday experiences, but yin meets yang, and every time it looks like we are all barrel-rolling into the sun, we get Irving, and then we get Wayne Shaw.
In short, 2017 is going to be fun of grand surprises for us all. I look forward to the day President Trump tries to fete the Patriots and only gets to Skype with Bob Kraft and the equipment guys who midwifed DeflateGate, and Mark Davis in Las Vegas, just to see if he can get a P.F. Chang’s into the Bellagio.
Why not? This is sport’s year-long tribute to sketch comedy, and evidently everyone is signing on enthusiastically to replace lessons of morality and honor and equality and dignity and sportsmanship with slackened jaws and belly laughs.
So yay sports! Or as it is clearly becoming, A Night At The Improv.
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss announced today that the team has named Earvin "Magic" Johnson as President of Basketball Operations. In addition, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Furthermore, Jim Buss will no longer hold his role as Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.
"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Jeanie Buss said. "Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness."
"It's a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Since 1979, I've been a part of the Laker Nation and I'm passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions."
Jeanie Buss added, "I took these actions today to achieve one goal: Everyone associated with the Lakers will now be pulling in the same direction, the direction established by Earvin and myself. We are determined to get back to competing to win NBA championships again."
Regarding Mitch Kupchak, Jeanie Buss stated, "We are grateful for the many contributions Mitch has made to the Lakers over the years and we wish him all the best."
With regard to fellow owner and brother, Jim Buss, Ms. Buss said, "Jim loves the Lakers. Although he will no longer be responsible for basketball personnel decisions, he is an owner of this team and we share the same goal: returning the Lakers to the level of greatness our father demanded. Our fans deserve no less."
In addition to the changes made within the basketball department, the Lakers also announced they have parted ways with John Black who had been the Lakers Vice President of Public Relations. Chief Operating Officer Tim Harris will immediately begin a search for a replacement. Jeanie Buss added, "We thank John for his many years of service."
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