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Dana O’Neil recalls her All-Access with Billy Clyde

In March of 2009, just three weeks before Billy Gillispie was fired from Kentucky,’s Dana O’Neil was given an assignment to follow Gillispie and the UK basketball team around for an All-Access feature on the program. O’Neil had done many of these before, but none were anything like her time around Billy Clyde. In her look back on the All-Access piece, she uses words like “standoffish,” “rude,” “insular,” and “abrasive” to describe his personality. She said she was locked out of the locker room, and then asked to leave by the coach once he allowed her back in.

But, as O’Neil writes, it’s not about how he treated her; it’s how he treated his players at Kentucky.

I have logged more than a few hundred hours around basketball coaches and their players. News flash: Coaches aren’t always nice. They can be downright mean when they have to be.

But always there is a place for levity — at the end of a practice, on the bus, the plane, somewhere the other side of the relationship is apparent. There is banter and fun.

Not at Kentucky. In four days, I never saw Gillispie have anything other than basketball-related interactions with his players.

Gillispie ended every conversation, broke every huddle, by saying, “Let’s go to work,” and that is exactly what it was — joyless work for the players. In a situation desperate to break the oppression of misery and the stress of losing, there was not even the briefest of respites.

The man is sick. I don’t know how the players who stayed lasted as long as they did.


[ We should’ve seen this coming, (September 6, 2012)]

[ An inside look at a blue blood on the bubble, (March 10, 2009)]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

17 Comments for Dana O’Neil recalls her All-Access with Billy Clyde

  1. Jones Returns
    2:21 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I think we all know why Michael Porter stayed…#LexingtonCatholicUnis

  2. Who cares?
    2:27 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I’m just glad we got rid of him!

  3. 20 - 20 Vision
    2:29 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Uhhh yeah, Mitch is a real good AD.

    If you have Billy Clyde and Joker on your resume, how do you ever get another job?

  4. Diorio's Pizza
    2:31 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    LOL!!! Matt and his Merry Band of Clowns once called Billy the Drunk “The Essence of Adolf!!”
    I’ll wager he STILL sports a “GOT BILLY” T-shirt under his dress slip!!

  5. ncaa
    2:37 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Yes UK fans, we are looking into Mr. Gillispie’s tenure in Lexington. It has come to our attention that practice times were continually not monitored by the University. This provided the basketball program with an unfair advantage. Our entire staff will be in Lexington, starting Monday, to uncover any irregularities that may be floation around.

    See you soon

  6. Abusive Drunkard
    2:40 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I saw this coming from a mile away… we tend to recognize our own kind.

    With that being said… Now, shut up and GET ME A BEER!

  7. nolacat
    2:41 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Congrats to D Miller on signing contract with Hornets today….

    The Gillespie issue make your wonder… Patterson, Harrellson, Meeks, Miller, Liggins… all in the NBA… Bradley, Crawford.. D league and overseas… (not sure about Harris, or Stephens) how much do you have to want something to put up with a guy like Gillespie…

  8. RJ
    2:43 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    The part that did make me laugh is the part about BG laying in to Rob Bromley in a commercial for the Billy Gillispie show.

  9. ktmiln2
    2:45 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I’m going to say that Liggins, Miller, and Harrellson wouldn’t be in the NBA if Billy G was their only coach.

  10. DerbyDemon
    3:20 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #5–Dear NCAA: Please define “floation.” Thank you.

  11. JDH
    3:58 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks #10. Was about to type the same question.

  12. stan
    4:15 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #5,you are so stupid,you remind some of us of the ncaa.

  13. Big Blue Coming at You
    4:18 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    I met BCG and one of the assistants in an elevator at the Louisville airport. I did a double take and said “hey coach.” He put on a fake smile and said hey. I didn’t say anything else since it was late at night and i didn’t want to be a pest. Anyway, that’s my encounter with BCG.

  14. Diorio's Pizza
    6:51 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink


  15. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:08 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    If Karma does exist, I just hope I am Witness when Bully the Assclown gets his payback What a show it will be.

  16. Dane Brammage
    8:34 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink


    DiWhoreos Shitzu,

    “Yew” make no sense:

    You’ve, presumably Uavel ‘phan’, has/have ‘got’ Karen Sypher, Pitino’s admitted cheating on his best friend and (911-deceased) brother-in-law, plus alleged abortion….

    Got anything better than that?

    I don’t think so.

    Go to hell, punk ass loser.

  17. Rae
    10:16 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    5. Good luck finding anything. Anyone remotely connected with the program during that time still in Lexington probably drank enough bourbon to completely erase Billy’s entire tenure at UK from their memories.