The Search Is On
Well, that's another coach run out of town. We took too long to fire Tubby, and I have to say I think they fired Billy Clyde Gillispie a little too quickly. Yeah, I've heard all the rumors that his drinking was heavier than anyone realized, and that he liked to chase the co-eds a little too much, but I think everyone knew that about him at Texas A&M, too. The problem with Billy is that A) he was too stubborn to adapt his system to fit the personnel he had, B) he played Michael Porter 30 minutes a game when Michael Porter is completely awful instead of taking his lumps with DeAndre Liggins, C) he never signed his contract, and D) he was too prickly with the media.
Alan Cutler, the guy chasing poor Billy Clyde around in the video above, is a complete ass-hat. That goes without saying. However, Billy's treatment of Jeannine Edwards on national TV was also complete ass-hattery, and totally beyond the pale for a college basketball coach. Not just as Kentucky; wherever you coach, you need to represent your school with class and that's not exactly classy behavior.
That's kind of the whole problem with the situation. Billy's personality isn't cut out for Lexington. It's okay to be a prickly borderline alcoholic asshole when you win and stay off probation (Hi, Eddie Sutton, are you dead yet?), but when you're losing and having public pissing contests with the girl from ESPN, throwing your players under the bus like your name is Greyhound, and not actually under contract? Whole other scenario.
Like when Tubby left, I've got no hard feelings towards Billy. I hope the kids he recruited come to UK and I really hope the next coach (John Calipari?) can get the team back on the right track. This is a fan base that, admittedly, has been spoiled by the years of success we had under Rick Pitino and all our other coaches. But when ESPN calls North Carolina the greatest college basketball program EVER, I take serious offense. Kentucky has the most wins all time (or had, UNC might have caught up this year) and second most national titles of all time. When you're talking greatest college hoops programs it's Kentucky, UCLA, and then UNC.
UK is a basketball school in a basketball state. If you can't win with class, you don't belong here. Bring on Pitino Jr.