What is going on with Billy Gillispie?

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What is going on with Billy Gillispie?

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.

OFFSEASON

Celtics "emerged as a front-runner" for Al Horford

Celtics "emerged as a front-runner" for Al Horford

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are poised to do the seemingly unthinkable: acquire an elite free agent in their prime. 

The Celtics are meeting with four-time all-star Al Horford tonight and as one league executive told CSNNE.com, Boston has emerged as a front-runner for his services after the Atlanta Hawks came to terms on a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Dwight Howard. 

And the Celtics will come armed with a four-year, $113 million max-salary offer for the 30-year-old Horford as well.   

In addition to the Celtics, Horford is also reportedly considering signing with the Houston Rockets.

Acquiring Horford would bolster the Celtics’ franchise on multiple levels. For starters, he would provide an upgrade roster-wise to a team whose progress has leveled out the last couple of seasons with first-round playoff exits.

Adding Horford greatly enhances the Celtics’ chances at making a playoff run that extends beyond just the first round. Adding Horford also provides the first real tangible sign that the days of Boston being perceived as no man’s land when it comes to free agents are in the past.

In addition, Horford’s leadership on the floor and inside the locker room can only strengthen a culture that’s deeply rooted in accountability.

But as the Celtics approach their recruitment of Horford with cautious optimism, they know all too well that they can’t afford to take anything involved in wooing him for granted.

While the Rockets may appear to be a team that Boston doesn’t have to worry too much about when it comes to Horford, there is one wild card franchise out there: Oklahoma City.

They’re the odds-on favorite to re-sign Kevin Durant, and adding a player like Horford to the roster could only strengthen their chances of keeping him long-term.

Oklahoma City has explored possible trade opportunities centered around Enes Kanter, which could go far in freeing up space to pursue Horford.

And as one of the six teams that Durant will meet with this weekend, the Celtics are well aware of the minefield that awaits them in trying to secure Horford as well as their top target, Durant.

The fact that Boston is on the short list for the top two free agents out there (Durant and Horford), speaks volumes as to how far this franchise has come from a perception standpoint in the eyes of the league’s best players.

Both Horford and Durant have talked in glowing terms about the Celtics franchise, head coach Brad Stevens and the players.

And the Celtics have made no secret about wanting both to eventually become Celtics, something that now stands as a legit possibility with Boston well in the mix for both players.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be followed on Twitter: @SherrodbCSN

Bruins make official free agent signings of Liles, Nash, Khudobin

Bruins make official free agent signings of Liles, Nash, Khudobin

The Bruins made a number of signings official on the first day of NHL free agency on Friday along with the big prize in hard-hitting, productive center David Backes.

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin signed a two-year deal worth $1.2 million per season to return as a goaltending tandem with Tuukka Rask as they were back in a highly successful 2012-13 NHL season.

Hustling, grinding fourth line forward Riley Nash was signed to a two-year, $1.8 million contract with the Bruins as well, and had nine goals and 22 points in 64 games for the Carolina Hurricanes last season in an energy forward role. In his five-year NHL career, Nash has played in 242 games, amassing 31 goals and 50 assists for 81 points with 69 penalty minutes, including a career-high 10 goals a couple of years ago with the Hurricanes.

The 36-year-old John-Michael Liles signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Bruins after arriving from Carolina at the NHL trade deadline last spring. Liles appeared in 17 games and notched six assists along with a minus-6 rating for the Bruins in 2015-16 after being acquired for Anthony Camara, a 2016 third-round pick and a 2017 fifth-round pick on February 29, 2016. Prior to joining up with Boston, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Liles played in all 64 games for Carolina, recording six goals and nine assists for 15 points with 16 penalty minutes.

“We went out to identify a primary target in David Backes as a center, right wing candidate. He provides depth and balance to our lineup, as did Riley Nash. And Anton Khudobin addressed an area that we seemed to have chased for a little while and possibly with Malcolm’s [Subban] injury we needed to address that for the next couple of seasons. John-Michael Liles is a player that we acquired last year that really added a lot to the mobility and the transition game and we’re excited about bringing him back,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “Tim Schaller was a local boy at Providence College that we went out and identified another size, strength, left-shot, penalty kill and continued to add depth. Tyler Randell emerged last year was on our roster all year long, contributed and was a real hard-nosed player, sticks up for his teammates, was able to contribute goals, albeit not necessarily in the lineup every night, bringing balance. And Tommy Cross and the leadership qualities he brings to Providence for younger players to continue to develop.

“He found himself playing in NHL games, acquainted himself very well, just a real quality person across the board. So I think the overall philosophy of today and going into the free agent period was to address some needs and we did that. But we’ve created what I think is a real internal competition for our younger players to step up and emerge around what I think we’ve added to the core group of our players. They should be excited about this opportunity.”

Tommy Cross, Tyler Randell and Tim Schaller all signed one-year, two-way deals with the Bruins for an NHL value of $600,000, but are all expected to play the bulk of the season at the AHL level barring anything unexpected. 

Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs