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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Stronger Emotion towards Gillispie- Anger or Sadness?

40 years from now, Billy Gillispie is going to be one of those names in UK history that brings along mixed emotions.  Very few of them will be positive, although his first team with Bradley and Crawford was one of the most fan favorite teams of the last 15 years.  But certainly, there was very little to smile about during his entire tenure, and as stories came out after his firing, those emotions only got stronger.  But, after his DUI arrest and rehab appearance, I got the feeling that emotions kinda switched in the fanbase.  And then John Calipari turns the program around so quickly, and a couple of Gillispie’s players (Liggins, Miller, and Harrellson) are key players on a Final Four team. 

Now I wonder where exactly your emotions stand with Gillispie.  On the one hand, his results and treatment of the players have to bring on some anger.  But knowing now that he was an alcoholic might bring a sadness emotion to your heart.  Plus, now that Gillispie is back into coaching and seemingly turning his life around, maybe the anger has left you and you just feel sad on how things happened in Lexington.  If he doesn’t bomb, maybe UK never gets Calipari.   

Which emotion is stronger than any other when you think about Billy Gillispie?  Now that we are over 2 years removed from that era, has anything changed in your mind and heart?  Does the success of the current team, especially in such a quick fashion, soften those hard feelings?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

61 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Stronger Emotion towards Gillispie- Anger or Sadness?

  1. 3 fan
    9:04 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Hate him. He did everything he could to destroy the program without cheating. Dakota F’ing Euton?

  2. no
    9:07 am July 29, 2011 Permalink


  3. rh3toric
    9:10 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Not at all

  4. Mattcat68
    9:13 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    My Heart is fine with Gillispie but I’ll always think of him as a horrible coach. His recruiting was wacky, his offensive play calling was god-awful and his motivational tactics had an adverse effect.

  5. reedwizard
    9:13 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Anger… at Mitch Barnhart for fouling this hire up so badly. He learned his lesson though. Gillespie is a waste, and he’s made himself into that. Why are people sad when they see Bob Knight, Billy and all the other bully’s? Because they could’ve done so much good and are just giant turds? The problem with that are these guys are in a great position to help so many students/people and they choose to destroy opportunities, esteem and possible careers. How can you be sad at a “coach” who tells the best player on the team to stop shooting? How can you be sad for a miserable cretin that sits Jorts in the bathroom stall? If anyone puts sad on here, they don’t remember or are a democrat

  6. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    9:14 am July 29, 2011 Permalink


  7. Jack
    9:16 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I feel sorry for him.

  8. Al's IndiCats
    9:20 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I put him in with the likes of Eddy Sutton. It was like being on probation but MUCH MUCH worse. Losing to teams like Garner Webb, VMI, SDU at home will always stay with me. Knowing a few folks who are alcoholics it’s up to them to change their ways. Clyde’s being fired was the best thing that ever happened to him if he’s truely became an non-practicing alcohlic.

  9. Always > U ..of L
    9:22 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I think Billy G is a horrible human being. Yet I love him becasue all those losses he chalked up set the stage for win #2,000 to take place on my birthday.

  10. HillbillyInBC
    9:24 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Contempt is probably a better word than anger.

  11. jim
    9:25 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I always thing of one word when thinking of Billy G … Smirking.
    I have nothing but disgust for the man. He was an ass, treated people poorly, smirked nonstop, and did everything possible to bring our program down (intentional or not).

  12. bluereefcat
    9:28 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I have a strong dislike for. Knowing someone associated with the program and hearing all the horror stories of his treatment of the student athletes makes me this way. Sorry to hear that he is a alcholic but that does not excuse his behavior.

  13. ryno
    9:28 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Pity really. He was in over his head from day one. Too many bad choices. He would be much more hated if Cal hadn’t come in with his clean sweep of the program back to excellence. I also think BG put Tubby in a better light for me. For example, “Tubby recruited Sheray Thomas and Shagari Alleyne in the same class, but at least he didn’t get smacked around by Gardner Webb.”

  14. gulfbreezecatfan
    9:29 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    how embarrasing . yeah , clyde i think marriage sounds like a great idea for you !

  15. SexnNursinHomes
    9:30 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Only way I’d bbe mad at him long term wise, is if he talked me into investing money with him. Seeing how I don’t have a pocket to piss in, I guess I wouldn’t have lost much.

  16. TT
    9:30 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    he had no clue what he was doing at UK. I’m sure he was drunk 95% of the time he was here,the other 5% he was asleep.

  17. blitzedanddazed
    9:34 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    BCG belongs in the same category as Eddie Sutton. A sad, sick individual that was a bad fit for the University.

  18. bung
    9:37 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    We should always try and get Ky people

  19. Don
    9:37 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Who? I don’t acknowledge him as part of the familia! Never will.

  20. thisguy
    9:39 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Sadness… only b/c 0% anger

    Think about it… Gillispie is brought in to ONLY win, when in reality the program needed to go through a significant transformation from playing defensive minded Tubby-ball to a more atheletic nba-style college game today (more Calipari-esque if you will.) Billy brought in PPat, Darius, and Dandre which will go down as 3 significant players in UK history… only PPat will go down as a “great” unless Darius brings home a championship this year. For that contribution I will always be grateful for Billy.

    Kentucky got rid of Tubby b/c he produced good teams year in and year out but never a championship squad w/o Pitino’s recruits. It fell on Billy to transform the program immediately and continue to win… i.e. the job only John Calipari could do… and that includes Billy Donovan.

    In my mind Gillispie is to Kentucky as Matt Daurghtey is to UNC… A coach that came in only b/c landing an elite coach at the time was impossible b/c fan base expectations were too high. (see comment above about Tubby being dismissed) After expectations were significantly lowered it allowed a great coach Cal/Williams to step in and revive a proud franchise w/o having to live under the shadow of their predecessor… Tubby will always be compated to Rick Pitino… Joe B. will always be compared to Rupp… Elite coaches want to make their own mark on a franchise.

    I don’t think we should fault Billy G for being ambitous and wanting to take the Kentucky job… and b/c of that I have no anger and just a little sadness… mostly gratitude b/c the Kentucky program wouldn’t be where it is today if we had landed Billy Donovan instead of Billy Gillispie.

  21. Mattcat68
    9:42 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    My favorite part of the Gillispie era.

  22. rh3toric
    9:47 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    @Mattcat68 thx lol

  23. M Corleone
    9:49 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Billy is dead to me.

  24. jeb
    9:53 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    agree with ryno. he was over his head. that doesn’t mean he wasn’t also a jerk who wouldn’t admit he was over his head, thus causing even more damage. my strongest feeling is relief that he’s not here anymore. my contempt for him has less to do with the program as a whole and more to do with his treatment of the individual players.

  25. BTI has to go
    9:54 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I was a big fan of Crawford and Ramel, but that team wouldn’t rank in my top 5 (fan favorite) teams of the last 15 years.

  26. floydfan
    9:54 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Gotta be a hundred guys coaching high school basketball in Kentucky that are better than that son of a bitch.

  27. lribookend
    9:55 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I think I have mixed emotions. First of all, he didn’t hire himself….blame the AD that hired him. Second, his actions cannot be excused. Third, he was an interim coach (much like Steve Kragthorpe at uofl), who were a placeholder until the RIGHT coach could be hired. Billy was successful in the past, and may be successful in the future….but UK requires a special fit, and it wasn’t him.

  28. kyeric
    9:55 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Gillispie was your psychotic ex-girlfriend that drove you crazy but also happened to intorduce you to your awesomely hot, funny, intelligent wife. You realize one day that you had to go through that relationship to get you where you are today.

    There is also a great saying: “Look back, but don’t stare”. Go BCG. Go Cal. Go Cats.

  29. Ben
    9:55 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    We got Billy because the Administration was too cowardly to go with Cal! I am so sick of people buying into what the NCAA and Media say about people, instead of doing their own investigation. Billy got the job for one reason only, he beat Rick in Rupp Arena the year before. I could do a better job than these so called in charge people at KY.

    Billy is a sick individual that should never coach at the top level. I will never forgive him for what he did to our players. Our program has recovered, but we need to be much more selective with our future picks. Very few coaches can handle a job like KY!

    Billy needs to be pitied, not hated! It is time to move on and put Billy in the past.

  30. SexnNursinHomes
    10:02 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I blame Bush, Obama and Coal for this.

  31. BG sucks
    10:02 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Gillispie, and you don’t much look like a steer to me, so that kinda narrows it down!

  32. RYNO
    10:07 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Did he really say that they had a “recruit meal” at his home? Isn’t that what Bruce got in trouble for?

  33. WildcatfanEastKY
    10:08 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I have no hard feelings what so ever toward BCG understanding addiction from the level that I do working in the field, . The man had a big monkey on his back with the alcohol problem long before he set foot on campus. Add to that the pressure cooker that is UK basketball and you were setting the stage for extreeme failure. His actions toward the players while regretable was a part of the alcohol problem in my opinion. Mitch Barnhart should be the one holding the bag for the faliure that was the two seasons with BCG. He should have done his homework better and took more time to find someone who wasnt in the condition that Billy was in. Who can blame him for taking the best hoops job in the nation especially with the money he was given. It all worked out for the best, I hope he makes amends to the players, staff, and the families involved and goes on to have lots of success. It all worked out for the best in the end he is where he needs to be and we got the most inovative coach in the nation and BBN is back in business ! GO BIG BLUE!

  34. bti sucks
    10:09 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    This is the University of Kentucky, not the University of Billy Gillispie. Really that’s a stupid question.

  35. BPM
    10:18 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    25 – agree. no way that team was one of my favorites in the last 15 years. They kind of lost me at Gardner Webb and didn’t win a single post-season game. I can think of at least 10 teams I liked better in the last 15 years: ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’10, ’11.

  36. tbd4567
    10:21 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Gillespie was just a terrible NCAA D1 coach. Should never have been hired at the premiere program in the country. The hiring showed an utter lack of understanding of basketball by the AD to make such a hire. Pratt was right that he was “in over his head and clueless.” Kentucky was totally justified in the firing and should never have agreed to pay $3,000,000 to settle the contract suit. Billy should be ashamed settling the suit for that amount and after seeing what Cal did with the program, he should pay the money back as undeserved.

  37. Buckets
    10:21 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Wet bar and wine cellar. YEEEHAW!! Time for some midnight golf after hitting those two!!

  38. Buckets
    10:24 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    BTW, BCG lost the worth of two of those houses in a ponzi scheme. GENIUS!!

  39. Jones Returns
    10:27 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    “although his first team with Bradley and Crawford was one of the most fan favorite teams of the last 15 years”…and this is where i stopped reading. god i hated those two guys with a passion, especially Bradley. what in the hell are you talking about?!?!? You are out of touch with reality. Put a poll up right not asking do you “like” or “dislike” Ramel Bradley GARUNTEE “dislike” takes the cake. won’t even be close

  40. Jones Returns
    10:27 am July 29, 2011 Permalink


  41. bluetexan
    10:35 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Why, oh why are we even mentioning Billy Clyde again? It was a nightmare hiring (thanks Barnfart) that wouldn’t have happened if we had some semblance of professionalism in the Athletic Department. Let it go! Oh, and take Barnfart with you!

  42. Doubting Thomas
    10:40 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Didn’t like Billy when they hired him and liked him less when they fired him. I’m no genius but wasn’t it obvious the guy had no clue as tp what he was getting into. I can’t believe he would purposely allow himself to be where he was totally over his head. No comparison in his abilities to coach with Joe B., Rick, Tubbby or Calipari. Billy couldn’t deal with the players, the fans, the media or the pressure that goes with being the coach at UK. I guess in the end I feel sorry for him but I still don’t like him.

  43. Tito Santana
    10:49 am July 29, 2011 Permalink


  44. Says Me
    10:56 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    He wouldn’t sign his contract, then sued the school.

    How is anyone supposed to fell sorry for a jagoff like that?

    I gave him a chance after year 1, and was even semi-excited- after the horrific start, he did a great job in the SEC that year. By February of 2009, he was an embarrassment, his team clearly hated his guts (or just didn’t care any more), and he was blazing a path of maximum insanity on the recruiting trail.

    He had no business ever coaching UK. For that, yes, some sadness. But he handled himself like the world’s biggest jackass, so that supercedes any empathy.

  45. Test
    10:59 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    I am sick and tired of posting a comment and then not being able to see the comments after until I post a “test.” WTF, KSR??? Sorry, sorry. I don’t mean to complain. I love you, KSR. Just quit holdin’ out on me with the comments!!!!!

  46. Rod
    11:15 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    F a bunch of Bill G. Time to move on.

  47. mark emmert
    11:17 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    [email protected] email mark emmert right now

  48. Goose Givens' 41 points
    11:17 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Down the road I don’t expect to think of him at all. Right now I just feel like he was one of the worst hires ever. Anywhere. I didn’t like him when he got here and liked him even less as time went on. He was so in over his head and those motivational tactics went out 30 years ago. Just a sad man with an obvious amount of personal demons. I don’t expect to ever see him in Rupp again.

    39) You are delusional. BBN loves smooth and so does KSR

  49. john4uk
    11:18 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    How anyone could feel sorry for Billy Gillispie is beyond belief.He had issues that were self created and should never have been given the job at UK.Absolutlely the worst hire ever,Too give him any credit for anything constructive with the UK basketball program is just plain dumb.

  50. Just saying
    11:28 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    who?? F**K HIM!!!

  51. tubbys decade of debacle
    11:30 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    BCG was just a continuation of the abject failure that was tubby smith. I despise tubby much more because he was able to bring Kentucky to it’s knees over a decade. The tubby lovers were all too stupid to see early on that tubby:
    A. Could not recruit!
    B. Could not develop the few top-talents he had!
    C. Had zero offensive coaching skills!
    D. His defense was pretty good, Gillispies was actually better and he was drunk!
    Neither tubby or BCG belonged at Kentucky. Kentucky deserves a top-flight coach in all respects and Calipari has set the bar even higher than Pitino so hopefully mistakes like tubby and BCG are not made again…

  52. Bledsoe's Biceps
    11:36 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Anger/disgust/contempt and any other similar words that fit. I feel no sadness for people who make poor choices of their own free will. He chose to drink to excess. He chose to not listen to advice. He chose to be an ass. He chose to not sign his contract. He chose to alienate his team, the media, his bosses and supporters of the program. etc, etc.

  53. Bryan
    11:55 am July 29, 2011 Permalink


  54. NBA league pass
    11:56 am July 29, 2011 Permalink

    39) what’s wrong with Bradley and Crawford? I have a feeling that it would be an overwhelming “like” on your poll.

  55. Ned Chase
    12:22 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    The double overtime win vs Vandy was by far the best game I have ever seen live. BCG was a turd but that was is a great memory.

  56. TruBlu
    1:56 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    What a low-life to diss Jodie Meeks like he did.

  57. Rest in peace Mel Turpin
    3:26 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Anger. He was mean to our players. Of course I get mad…every time I think of him putting Harrelson in a bathroom stall or throwing a player off the bus because he wasn’t “tough enough”. If I catch BCG walking down a dark alley, I’ll whip his butt.

    5:29 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    It’s hard to feel sad for a rich person.

  59. Blueburg
    6:25 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    It was a hard two yrs. As much as some of us wanted it to work out, BCG just didn’t get it.

    8:08 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    thats a #BAD????????????? #BBN

  61. Flyingfishman
    9:02 pm July 29, 2011 Permalink

    Billy Who?