Texas Tech's athletic department has suspended head basketball coach Mark Adams after he quoted a Bible verse in an interaction with a player that the school deemed "racially insensitive."
Adams, who is in his second year with the Red Raiders, had been "encouraging the student-athlete to be more receptive to coaching and referenced Bible verses about workers, teachers, parents, and slaves serving their masters," the athletic department said in a statement.
"Adams immediately addressed this with the team and apologized," the statement said.
The statement also noted that Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt addressed the issue with Adams and issued him a written reprimand.
"Hocutt subsequently made the decision to suspend Adams effective immediately in order to conduct a more thorough inquiry of Adams' interactions with his players and staff," the statement continued.
Adams told the Stadium website he was referencing Jesus' words.
"I was quoting the Scripture," Adams told the 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."
The school did not say which Bible verses Adams quoted. In Luke 17, Jesus recounted a story often called the Parable of the Master and Servant. In 1 Peter 2:18, the Apostle Peter wrote, "Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust."
Adam addressed the team about the incident but did not apologize, he said.
"One of my coaches said it bothered the player," Adams said. "I explained to them. I didn't apologize."
The school also is investigating an incident in which Adams allegedly spit on a player, the Stadium reported. He told the website that he had a bad cough, had gone to the doctor and slobbered on the player during the game.
Texas Tech is 16-15 heading into this week's Big 12 Tournament. The Red Raiders advanced to the Sweet 16 in last season's NCAA Tournament. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, he has a five-year, $15.5 million contract.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/John E. Moore III/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.