Former Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie during a Big 12 Conference game… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)
Texas Tech men's basketball Coach Billy Gillispie has resigned because of health concerns, the school said Thursday, ending a bizarre and disappointing one-year run at the program he took over with designs on building a West Texas powerhouse.
The school and fans had hoped the 52-year-old Gillispie could orchestrate another remarkable turnaround like the ones he put together at Texas El Paso and Texas A&M. Instead, after being out of coaching for two years, he led the Red Raiders to an 8-23 record last season that included just one Big 12 victory.
"Billy has decided to focus on his health, and we wish him a full recovery," Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt said in a news release. "We are proud of the young men that he has brought to this campus. Billy's decision allows him to concentrate on his well-being and allows us to turn our attention to preparations for the upcoming season."
Gillispie will be paid the remainder of this contract year. Chris Walker, who took over day-to-day operations, will remain in that position until an interim head coach is chosen.
The move comes less than a month after the school announced it was looking into allegations of player mistreatment last fall by the veteran coach — a sensitive topic at Texas Tech, given the 2009 firing of football coach Mike Leach after claims that he mistreated a player suffering from a concussion.
In January, the school reprimanded Gillispie and assistant coach Brooks Jennings after a review found the team had exceeded practice-time limits in 2011. The school reported the secondary violation to the NCAA and penalized itself by reducing the team's practice time by about 12 hours.
While all that was filtering out, Gillispie's health was apparently growing worse.
Twice in a 10-day span this past month, 911 calls were made from Gillispie's home. The first, on Aug. 31, came hours before he was to meet with Hocutt and led to a six-day stay in a Lubbock hospital.
He was not taken to the hospital after the second call on Sept. 10. But the following day, Gillispie left for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he said he got treatment for kidney problems and abnormal headaches.
Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye will be out indefinitely after a preseason physical revealed an enlarged heart.
The Suns said Frye has developed a dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition discovered during an echocardiogram by team cardiologist Dr. Tim Byrne.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, primarily affecting the left ventricle, which becomes enlarged and can't pump blood to the body with as much force as a healthy heart, according to mayoclinc.com.
Frye signed with Phoenix, his hometown team, in 2009 and has averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in three seasons. He averaged 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds last season.
Frye has also played with Portland and New York during a seven-year NBA career.
The Clippers exercised a team option on Eric Bledsoe for the 2013-14 season following the guard's strong performance in the playoffs.
Bledsoe, who averaged 7.9 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 58.7% in 11 playoff games, will earn $1.7 million this season and $2.6 million next season. Bledsoe averaged 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds while shooting 38.9% in 40 regular-season games.
Lexi Thompson made a little more history in the Navistar LPGA Classic, opening her title defense with a career-best nine-under-par 63 to take a two-stroke lead in Prattville, Ala.
Last year, Thompson became the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at age 16, winning by five strokes. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko broke the record last month in the Canadian Women's Open.
Thompson had nine birdies in her bogey-free round on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. Lizette Salas and Hee Young Park shot 65.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark cruised into the quarterfinals of the Korea Open in Seoul by beating Caroline Garcia of France, 6-2, 6-3. Wozniacki will face Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic, who defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 6-1, 7-6 (6).
Seventh-seeded Gael Monfils of France extended his successful return after several months out with a knee injury, reaching the quarterfinals of the Moselle Open in Metz, France, with a 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory over compatriot Nicolas Mahut.
Former NFL running back Stephen Davis has been arrested after officials in Columbia, S.C., say he was operating a nightclub even though its business license had been revoked. Davis played 11 seasons for Washington, Carolina and St. Louis.