The legacy of the Billy Clyde era in Lexington continues to become more and more bizarre. The stories of what went on around the team (which interestingly enough, were part of a series of tweets between Patrick Patterson, Mark Krebs, AJ Stewart and others Sunday night) have been talked about in detail and are the stuff of minor legend. But now we find out that Billy had other difficulties while here that weren’t even basketball related. According to a story in an Athens, Georgia newspaper today, Billy Clyde was one of a number of famous investors who were scammed out of money from an investment Ponzi scheme that he became involved in while at Kentucky. Gillispie joined former Georgia coach Jim Donnan, Barry Switzer and Tommy Tuberville as prominent clients of a scheme that ended up taking in over 82 million dollars in investments over the course of a four-year period.
The article doesn’t state how much money Gillispie had in the scheme, nor does it suggest any wrongdoing on the part of any of the actual investors. There are also no details as to the actual business function of the company in question or how the famous coaches became involved in it. Jim Donnan was apparently an early investor and has had to declare bankruptcy to cover losses associated with lawsuits stemming from the investment. As an early investor in the Ponzi scheme, Donnan was paid profits from later investors’ funds and now is forced into bankruptcy protection due to his inability to meet their claims. There is no word in the article whether Billy Clyde was an early or late investor in the scheme, leaving open the question as to whether his loss will come at the front or back end of its continued unraveling.
Yet another strange story of the going on while Billy Clyde was in Lexington…potentially the strangest two years Kentucky basketball will ever see.