Adrian Gregory announced that she would resign immediately as the head softball coach for Texas Tech. Gregory:
At this time, I have found it best to part ways with Texas Tech University and its softball program,” Gregory said. “I have truly loved Lubbock and the relationships I have built here. I wish the current players and staff all the best as they move forward with future seasons.”
Athletic director Kirby Hocut:
“I would like to thank Coach Gregory for her contributions to Texas Tech,” Hocutt said. “I wish her the best in the future.”
I know that you don’t always read the Morning Stake, but a few weeks ago, I posted The Intercollegiate’s story by Luke Cyphers and Daniel Libit that detailed some of the requirements of the softball team. Here are some of the excerpts with the team rulebook linked (yeah, it’s right here):
“REMEMBER: You represent OUR BRAND,” chided the 17-page rulebook for Texas Tech’s softball program, which admonished players about their “unconscious gestures and movements” and instructed, on no less than three occasions, to keep their “bellies, booties, and boobs (chests)” covered at all times.
Texas Tech softball, which exhorted its athletes to “avoid if at all possible” dating teammates, also stated that a player should not engage in a “public display of affection on any media outlet (i.e. kissing or photos suggesting, leading or partaking in sexual conduct).” (TTU softball coach Adrian Gregory declined to comment.)
Do I know if this article and Gregory’s termination are connected? No. I’m just remembering something that I read and it not being particularly flattering.
USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz and Josh Peter write that this was part of a review from USA Today, but it would seem that The Intercollegiate started this process.
UPDATE: Well, this USA Today article that’s found on the Avalanche-Journal details the incidents that the players endured under Gregory. You can read the entire thing and come to your own conclusion, but here is a part:
Athlete exit surveys conducted at the end of the 2018-19 softball season raised red flags about Adrian Gregory and assistant Sam Marder.
Gregory was given an overall negative score as head coach: of the 15 players who participated in the RealRecruit surveys, 60% were deemed “detractors.” Marder fared even worse: 73% had a detractive view of her as a coach. Forty percent of the players who were surveyed had a favorable “overall experience” as a Texas Tech athlete, according to RealRecruit.
Aside from the women’s basketball program under Stollings, no other Texas Tech head coach received such poor reviews that season. Multiple players complained that the team was regularly in violation of the NCAA’s rule limiting countable athletically-related activities to no more than 20 hour per week, or four hours a day. They also raised repeated complaints about the atmosphere in the program, and the dynamic between the coaching staff and players.
The incidents involve allegedly grabbing an assistant coach so hard that it left bruises (the assistant left just last year as a result of the incident), grabbing a player, and two racially insensitive incidents, including one player calling an African-American player “Rosa” and telling her to get to the back of the line. [Ed. Update: I ran 6 miles, thought about it, and realized this last bit lacked context.] The player that made the comment was white and the African-American player is Trenity Edwards. Gregory only asked that the white player apologize and Edwards did not feel that the apology was adquate.
Is this bad for Kirby Hocutt? Yeah probably. As you recall, associate athletic director Judi Henry recently announced her retirement and that first link is Henry’s bio which stated that that Henry was also in charge of softball as well as women’s basketball:
Since joining the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, she has served as the sports supervisor for several sports programs (men’s and women’s track and field/cross country, women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and soccer) and she has overseen other areas within the department (strength and conditioning, nutrition, training table, Title IX).
It would stand to reason that if Henry was in charge of one program that was not protecting student-athletes it would make sense that it could happen with two (or maybe more?). This isn’t intended to take away from Hocutt’s responsibility regarding the entire athletic department. This appears to be a trend, which is that player evaluations are being completely ignored by the athletic department. If those reports aren’t making it to Hocutt and stopped at Henry’s desk, then that’s ridiculously unfortunate. The USA Today article does not that Hocutt and Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec were emailed by the assistant coach that was allegedly grabbed by Gregory regarding that incident.