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Is this the end of the line for Billy Gillispie?

On October 12, 2007, the curtains dropped and Billy Gillispie was unveiled as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats to a chorus of 24,000 adoring fans chanting his name. Nearly five years later, he is still the talk of the sport, but for very different reasons.

Since Jeff Goodman’s article exposing Gillispie’s mistreatment of players and staff hit the web last night, it has become CBSSports’ most popular piece on Twitter. Everyone, from national writers to fans to my very own mother, has an opinion on Billy, who currently sits in a hospital room in Lubbock, Texas, recovering from high-blood pressure issues. While I’m positive Billy Gillispie has health problems, both physical and mental, it’s clear he’s not only there for the red jello. He’s also hiding from his problems, much like he did after things went downhill in Lexington over three years ago.

Only three years and a National Championship later can we laugh at the irony of this situation. It’s easy to look back at Billy’s bizarre last days in Lexington from high atop the mountain of college basketball. Let’s just say that in Billy’s case, “deja vu” is more than just a hangout on a Saturday night. The similarities between what happened then and what is happening now are striking. Both times, when serious allegations came out about Billy’s mistreatment of players and both times, he retreated into hiding, refusing to return calls or deal with the consequences. Three years ago, he overworked his players to the point of injury, made them cry, locked them into bathroom stalls, and forced them to eat Pop Tarts to gain weight. This time around, he overworked his players to the point of injury, made them cry, drove off high profile recruits and staff, and bullied radio play-by-play announcers into shooting layups and running stairs. Three years ago, he had to run away from Alan Cutler; this time, he admitted himself into the hospital. Three years ago, he lost his job. What now?

Texas Tech officials say they will address Billy’s job situation once he is released from the hospital. After what has transpired, it’s pretty obvious they will fire him. Even if the allegations aren’t true (and, come on, who actually believes that?), the damage to Texas Tech’s image is catastrophic. Who would ever allow their kid to play for him again? What school would ever hire him? Who in their right mind could ever trust him?

After breaking the story on Twitter, Jeff Goodman says he has received over 300 calls, texts and tweets about it, and only one was in defense of Gillispie. Billy has burned a lot of bridges in the sport, despite being given more than a second chance. Looking back, the reason we’re talking about this with such interest is because we lived through it ourselves. The players have the scars; the staff has the stories, Alan Cutler has the worn out running shoes. Perry Stevenson? He’s got the jokes:

Perry can laugh now, and in time, so will the players at Texas Tech. They will move on, hopefully to better schools where they can further their basketball careers. We’ll shrug off this story in a few days as we prepare to defend our National Championship. Know who really needs to move on? Billy Gillispie. Unfortunately, unless he truly commits himself to getting help, the only thing he’ll ever be is a bully with no future. Even then, it’s a toss up.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

43 Comments for Is this the end of the line for Billy Gillispie?



  1. WestWorld
    3:03 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    BCG is hiding in a supply closet somewhere in the hospital.



  2. sad
    3:11 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    BCG is a sad case. You know how you just get that fatalistic vibe that somebody is completely self-destructing and won’t be alive long if they don’t totally change their ways (Lindsey Lohan, for example)? I get that vibe for Billy Clyde.



  3. Musehobo
    3:13 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I bet the kid with the stress fractures won’t look back and laugh.



  4. Behind Enemy Lines
    3:13 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’m ashamed to say that I rode the Billy G Bandwagon longer than most. I didn’t want to believe the stories. I wanted to give the “Awe, Shucks” type of guy from Texas a fair chance. I was wrong, and sadly, Billy didn’t learn a lesson from his time at UK. At best, he’s a bully. At worst, he has some serious demons and needs professional help. I hope he can get his life turned back around (personally only, bc he’ll never be on the sidelines again).



  5. Perry Stevenson
    3:15 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I need to shut up and quit being juvenile about another’s misfortune. If I have a beef with my former coach, I need to keep it between myself and the coach and not laugh at him publicly like a spoiled ass, snot-nosed kid.



  6. MustangCat
    3:17 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Can someone please explain how he’s crazier then Knight? Not that he isn’t running around the room with his extra long sleeves flappin in the wind, screamin “I’m Batman”! He’s definatley got some problems, and major problems at that. But how does the sports world HONOR someone like Knight, then diss someone who’s not half as bad?!?! He’s bad mind you, but he’s no Bobby Knight or nuthin.



  7. FakePerryStevenson
    3:17 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    post 5 has no sense of humor. misfortune? that’s what you call someone choosing to be an all-out a**hole?



  8. what happened?
    3:18 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Wasn’t John Lucas supposed to have helped Billy G get control of his vices? What happened with all that? BCG needs to go see Jack Nicholson and get his anger under control…



  9. Musehobo
    3:18 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    No what you need to do, is exactly what you want. Because all the crap that you had to go through…the crap that people are just finding out about…it’s not just personal issues. It’s public knowledge now. I bet you liked to bully little kids at school didn’t you?



  10. MustangCat
    3:20 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    His claim to fame will go down that he beat a Rick Pitino team in the tourney! So, he’s not all bad……



  11. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    3:22 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Matt and the podcast crew need to try to get a player like Perry to do the Billy G uncensored podcast with them. Maybe even reach out to Alex Legion for his thoughts…LOL.



  12. DREWBLUE
    3:24 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t forget the good Billy brought. If someone else was hired after Tubby, they’ed probably still be here and we’d have no John Calipari.



  13. Rockfield, KY
    3:29 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    6. It’s amazing what a fanbase will forgive and forget when you won a lot of games and titles for their school. Billy lost a lot of games and ended our streak of NCAA apprearances. Not saying its right, but that’s just how it is.



  14. Billy G 200 Proof
    3:34 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    #5. Why? Perry was a victim of bullying! He has every right to say whatever he wants to. When politicians have the right to stare us dead in the eye and lie straight to our face with every breath, Perry can say whatever he wants to, deliver it in whatever manner he wants to, most especially if it is the truth and keeps another kid from becoming a victim of this bullying drunkard.



  15. DT in DC
    3:41 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’m right with you, #4. I was loyal to him until he was fired. I couldn’t believe the stories either. Now, I’m a little embarassed. But, with that said, he needs some kind of psychological help. So sad that someone with such a drive and opportunities throws it away because of such issues.



  16. Steve Kerr
    3:42 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    This beer is for you, Billy. Wait, I’m sure you are already on your 12-pack.



  17. catlogic15
    3:47 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Of course it should be the end of the line. The man is a psychopath.



  18. Powerlifter165
    3:47 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    TT must like abusive coaches… Knight, Billy G, and of course the rumors about Mike Leach.



  19. NotBilly Gillispie
    3:47 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Listen guys. I know y’all are the most read sports blog out there. We were brothers once, weren’t we? I mean all of us except Cutler, that prick. Well, Cutler and the cop that arrested me that night in Lawrenceburg. Seriously though, this is all just a big misunderstanding. First of all, I didn’t hurt any players. This is basketball. You have to be conditioned. Strains, sprains, shin splints, whatever, that’s all just in your head anyway. Go ask Joe Crawford. I made him play through all these false signals your brain gives you. Really that’s what I do for players. I kill the quit in them. I make the will to give in disappear. Don’t you remember what Jodie did to Tennessee? He would never have performed like that if I hadn’t threatened to kick him off the team. Now look at him. You don’t think that every time he knocks down a three in the NBA he doesn’t remember all the good I did him? Yeah, I had dozens of players leave down here. Yeah, I made the radio announcers run stairs. Let’s be honest though, the announcers down here aren’t quite as revered as they are up there now are they? I did it for comic relief, and I have to admit, it helped bring the team together better than they’ve been together all year, and yes, it did bring me personal enjoyment watching those motormouths run. Do I have issues? Doesn’t everybody have issues? One day, these players will look back on all of their self described injuries and thank me. Or, they’ll run into me at a stop light and beat the shit out of me. Either way, I’ll be remembered. After all, what else can I accomplish down here? Coach Cal’s stealing all the players these days!



  20. Chicago Chris
    3:53 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    UCLA is already inquiring into BCG’s availability.



  21. randomer
    3:56 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    i think it’s funny seeing Prairie Dog trash BCG – I saw the 2 of them drinking together (well, Clyde was drinking I don’t know about Perry) at McCarthy’s soon after he was fired.



  22. mkg
    3:59 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Stick a fork in BCG…



  23. jaws2
    4:01 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    5, 7, 9, it’s called class and being above the drivel that’s Billy G. The class act guy ignores what Billy has turned into and moves on. Little people do what Perry just did and I really like Perry, but he needs to grow up. At one time in our nations history being a class act meant something; not so much anymore.



  24. Rambo
    4:05 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Need to get our money back!



  25. KyKiller
    4:19 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Someone should whip his ass



  26. Jack
    4:32 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    No problem here, really. ESPN will gobble this whack-job right up and put him on the air. Fits right in with Bobby, Digger, Dickie V and other assorted nut-cases that they pass off as “expert commentators”.



  27. bandit
    4:45 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Isn’t it ironic that the man who forced his players to practice through their injuries is taking his sweet time recovering in a Lubbock hospital and might be afraid to go back to work.



  28. Tonydelksarms
    5:03 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I would not be shocked if he’s not in there for attempting to kill himself, just saying. He apparently mentally disturbed.



  29. jacocat
    5:31 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Get him out of that D—ed hospital and make him run the stairs. I have a good bull whip.



  30. STEVE!
    6:04 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    He needs to get 5% tougher each day.



  31. Sammydog
    6:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Now that BCG’s abuse is out for all to see, I am amazed by the toughness of UK players who were coached by him. I can now only imagine what they endured. They went to practice every day, kept their mouths shut during their time as players, soldiered on with class and choose not to “out” their coach. They could have, maybe should have. I would like to know their thinking. Perhaps one day, one of them will write a book about that experience. I for one would be interested. That experience and how they handled it says a lot about those guys.



  32. Warren Oates
    6:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I still have no idea why BCG had Perry block the free throw attempt in SEC tourney against UGA.Any ideas?



  33. Rixter
    6:11 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    What do you suppose a man like BCG does with his life once basketball is over? He’s got nothing else, other than girls and drinking, and the girls are about to become sparse. That leaves drinking. It’s not going to be a long, drawn out demise for Billy Clyde



  34. BlueTexan
    6:21 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Ahhh…the horror stories continue re:BCG. It seems that the AD @ TxTech followed the Barnfart manual on hiring coaches titled “Research Is For Wussies”. BCG’s treatment of players, crazy actions, disregard for athletic personnel, etc. has LONG been reported in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso media and, although readily available, Barnfart chose to ignore…as did the TxTech AD. I feel sorry for those affected.



  35. Wild Turkey 101
    6:28 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    If Billy checks into the psych ward he could probably remain on T Tech’s payroll for another 30 days.



  36. Wild Turkey 101
    6:33 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    #5 RIGHT ON! Plus Perry Stephenson sucked anyway. He’s not Kentucky caliber.



  37. DaveUK
    6:50 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I was at in attendance for a few of those practices during his two years, and saw firsthand some of his tirades. Joe Crawford could barely run recovering from knee problems, yet he hounded him relentlessly to run up and down the court and “hustle.” He had Jodie Meeks diving on the floor for balls on the sideline so hard he would slide into the seats – how he avoided getting hurt is a miracle. Patrick Patterson had a stress fracture from over-use in year 2 (with later surgery) that could have compromised his NBA career. I watched him storm down the hall at Rupp one day acting like a 3-year-old that didn’t get his way, and chew people out for the slightest of reasons. Bizarre experience looking back on it, but at the time I was just trying to figure out if that’s how they coached in Texas or something…



  38. kfund
    6:57 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Knight, Knight, Gillespie… Who is the next major douche that TT can hire for their next coach?



  39. J Jones
    7:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    The private aka bobby knight got away with this kind of bullying for years. Billy G made one mistake he did!nt win the big one. The private quit winning so people got tired of his s%%it is why he dosen!t coach now. If billy g was winning he would be allowed to get away with this crap.



  40. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:22 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    27) FTW. I had the same thought. Very ironic that Mr tough guy Bully Cluelesspee, is still in the hospital. Just wish his doctor would tell him he’s a wussy, shove him out the door and make him run the stairs.



  41. Ruppeat Offender
    7:29 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think there’s anything to laugh about. I assure you Derrick Jasper doesn’t think there’s anything to laugh about. He ruined that poor kid’s hoop dreams. BCG = POS.



  42. Vinny
    7:43 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Jasper still on Billy’s staff? That is just confusing



  43. RMN is a Biiiitch
    7:54 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    #39 You100% right. The only reason BN got away with this is because he won when he stopped winning he got shit canned. I think BCG must have been his love child. You never did hear any mention of his dad when he was at UK.