Kirby Hocutt Speaks Publicly for the First Time Since Lady Raiders Basketball Scandal
Wednesday morning (August 5th), the Red Raider fanbase woke up to the shocking revelation that there was an allegedly rampant culture of abuse hidden in plain sight with the Lady Raiders basketball program.
The news was broke by USA Today Sports and sent Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt into overdrive to meet with the Lady Raiders team to get to the bottom of the allegations.
Hocutt met with the Lady Raiders on both Wednesday and Thursday, before ultimately deciding to fire Marlene Stollings with cause based on objectionable behavior. The "with cause" delineation is important, because that means Texas Tech University will not be on the hook for anymore remaining financial compensation with Stollings.
Stollings had four years left on her Texas Tech deal.
Beyond Stollings, the entire Lady Raider coaching staff has been fired except for Malikah Willis, who will be named the interim coach during the coaching search that Kirby Hocutt will conduct in the next several weeks.
Friday afternoon, Hocutt read a statement before an open press conference where he began with a public apology to the student-athletes in the Lady Raiders basketball team, admitting the school failed them. He then doubled down, saying, "We have failed them, and we have to do better."
"This is supposed to be the best times of their lives," Hocutt continued, talking about the players on the roster. "They are strong and I appreciate the strength and courage they have displayed."
Hocutt talked about his decision to fire Stollings and how it wasn't a basketball decision, but a reflection of just how deep the trust had been broken and the lack of relationships Stollings and the staff had with the team. He said that Stollings thought she had a good relationship with the team, but said that he now sees that they just didn't exist.
Hocutt was also asked if the recruiting would be affected before giving the sales pitch for how great Texas Tech is, how the Big 12 is the premier athletics conference and how wonderful it is to live in Lubbock.
As for the next Lady Raiders basketball coach at Texas Tech, Hocutt is looking for someone who will focus on those relationships and look to build trust with the program and players. He didn't rule out going after a former Red Raider like he's done in the past with Kliff Kingsbury, Tim Tadlock and Candi Whitaker.
Ultimatel,y Hocutt is just looking for someone to come in and heal the obviously broken culture the Lady Raiders program is currently mired in.
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