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A Blast From the Frosted Past

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An actual post from Marc Maggard on TrueBlueKentucky.Com, dated March 16, 2009. Just for fun…no ill will associated:

Over the past few weeks, I’ve made plenty of blogs and posts detailing why coach Gillispie should not be close to being fired as UK’s head coach. I’ve pointed out how damaging his dismissal would be for the university. I’ve pointed out how this season was more about talent than it was about coaching (players have recently agreed publicly). I have made the point that talent is on it’s way and UK is headed in the right direction.

That hasn’t seemed to stop the countless threads and news reports claiming some sort of legitimacy to the reports of impending doom for the BCG reign. Some of it is ridiculous fans who have little to know concept of how a program is built, and make no mistake, UK is in rebuilding mode. There are also the “media” types who clearly have an agenda regardless of their constant claims to the contrary.

So at this point, I’m going to show you the main reason you can feel confident that BCG will return as UK’s head coach. His contract.

Yes, I realize that some of you think there is no contract, but there is. The images I’ve posted at the bottom of this blog are taken from the signed and faxed copy of coach Gillispie’s memorandum of understanding. This document has been serving as his contract since he took the job.

Some are even trying to assert that this document is not valid due to the clause that makes the agreement contingent on an actual contract. Well, most legal experts will tell you that Mitch Barnhart’s repeated public statements that the MOU is serving as a contract at this point makes that clause moot. The fact that both parties have been operating under the terms of the MOU show that it is, in fact, legally binding.

So, let’s look at what would happen if UK wants to fire BCG. The agreement states that UK would owe Billy Gillispie 6 million dollars if he is dismissed at the end of this year. Can anyone show me where a coach has EVER been paid 6 million dollars to send him packing? Sure, the season ended in a manner UK fans don’t like. Billy doesn’t like it either. But is it worth 6 million dollars to fire him?

Apart from the money, what other top coach would take a job knowing that a school is willing to dismiss a coach after only two seasons? That would make the job search ridiculously difficult. It was bad enough when it simply SEEMED as if UK fans were running Tubby out of town. How much harder would it be if they actually fired BCG? I mean, every coach in the nation knows how good BCG is as a coach. If he gets fired, any of them would feel the same fear of not having time to get their system in place.

So, maybe Billy wants to go? If he did, he would be on the hook for UK for 2 million dollars. Even if Billy DID want to leave the year before the team really starts to resemble a BCG type of team, I doubt he wants to pay back 2 million dollars.

So what if both parties agree to part ways. That is the only way I see BCG leaving UK. And to be honest, I can’t possibly imagine that being the case. I do think UK wants Billy to do better with the media, but I also think that is being way overhyped due to the losses. I also think the media is making a huge deal out of it because it relates to THEM. I know reporters don’t like being challenged as to their knowledge of basketball by one of the top basketball minds in the country.

So, I don’t see any real chance that BCG is gone after only two seasons. I know his contract, and thats what it is, doesn’t allow much room for it. I also know it’s not standard practice at all to fire a coach after two seasons. Despite the hype the media is giving it, It doesn’t seem very likely.

Marc Maggard

True Blue Kentucky

Article written by Matt Jones