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The Billy G Saga: Who Benefits?

This picture contains exactly zero head coaches.

When your coach spends time in the hospital to avoid talking to his bosses, then quits before he can get fired, you’re in a bad spot.  Now that Billy Gillispie is out at Texas Tech, though, folks are justified in asking, “Who benefits?”

No school wants to be in a position where they’re looking to fire their coach.  Even if you’ll be better off afterward, things have gotten bad enough now that “better” might not necessarily be “good.”  And what does it do to a coach’s reputation to have such a dubious exit from his last two stops?  Finally, and most importantly, the players are now in a spot where they lack any form of continuity within their program.  True, the guy that they didn’t care for is gone, but now what?  They play for a currently coach-less program.

In the midst of all of the hullabaloo over the last few weeks, culminating in last nights preemptive resignation, Dana O’Neil wondered who the “winners” of the ordeal are.  Her answer?


Certainly not for Texas Tech, which is about to have a different coach for a third straight season and has to reconfigure its program a month shy of practice — with all of eight wins to build on from last season.

Not for Gillispie, whose reputation is in tatters after he burned coaching bridges in Lubbock and Lexington, Ky., in a mere three combined seasons.

And not even for the players, whose in-house insurrection against their coach sparked all of this. They are left with an interim head coach and the stigma of this entire sordid affair.

We can’t speak to the experience that Texas Tech has of getting only eight wins to build on, but the other two are very familiar to us.  We know what a team is like after being under his tutelage.  Just follow Perry Stevenson on Twitter and you’ll get a glimpse.

So of the three parties involved, the school, the players, and Billy G. himself, who can stand to gain the most from the whole ordeal?  It’s not peaches and gravy right now, but surely someone can learn from the experience.

Maybe the players?  After he was fired from UK, the players who remained the following years under Cal were given an opportunity to really step up.  Patrick Patterson had the best year of his college career in ’09-10, and Josh Harrellson came out of nowhere the next season to blow everyone away.  If they didn’t have the miserable BCG years to learn from and appreciate, would they have worked as hard? You can argue that while the players don’t benefit from his coaching while he’s there, in a strange way, they can appreciate it after he’s gone.  So hopefully the Texas Tech players will have a similar experience with whoever comes in as his replacement.

And maybe UK benefits.  While they could never justify hiring him after his tenure in Lexington, at least now they can more emphatically justify firing him.

But according to Ms. O’Neil, the party who stands to gain the most from Billy’s lack of great judgment over the last few months is none other than the coach himself.

Still — and not without a touch of irony — Gillispie is the one who can benefit the most from the mess he created.

If he does as Hocutt said in the university news release and focuses on his health, that’s ultimately what really matters. No 52-year-old man should be in and out of the hospital multiple times for high blood pressure, stress and anxiety. That’s a body screaming SOS.

That Gillispie is listening in the here and now is critical and laudable.

But if Gillispie can recalibrate both his life and his health — if he can actually partner some serious soul-searching introspection with his coaching acumen — maybe there will be a winner in all of this after all.

As a group who has seen this pattern before, we may be skeptical that he can actually “recalibrate” like Dana suggests.  But after seeing him absolutely implode during the last months of his two most recent coaching jobs, hopefully he can.  If not for the schools, or the players, then for himself.

Article written by Corey Nichols

23 Comments for The Billy G Saga: Who Benefits?

  1. Oogie
    9:04 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Sup Cayts fans!

  2. JayCee
    9:08 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Why all the Billy G posts?

    Do people actually care or are you just phoning in the easy material?

  3. UKBlue
    9:17 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Billy G will never get a head or assistant coaching job ever again. 52 years old, crazy, mental issues, high blood pressure issues, alcoholic, and unemployable. If this is what WINNING looks like, I would hate to see what losing looks like in the big picture.

    I bet Texas Tech wishes they never fires Pat Knight.

    At least UK was smart enough to see their massive screw up, and cut Bill lose. Props to Mike Pratt for calling it early !!

  4. Tairy Greene
    9:22 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    I studied under the tutelage of Randy Tutelage.

  5. Clicks
    9:23 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    3. It’s all about me.

  6. barn
    9:30 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    4–tech probably thought they couldn’t do any worse after the knight’s era. but

  7. UK Snuggie
    9:31 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    It’s sad that there are as many posts on this site about BCG as there are about the football program. Now that this cow has been milked dry the KSR team will begin to explain to us who we should vote for in November and how that candidate gets “it”.

  8. justafish2002
    9:32 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’m planning on getting to Memorial around 7 tonight and I’m unsure of where to go to make I get tickets since I won’t be there when they hand out control cards at 2. Help me out?

  9. stan
    9:34 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Please let this be the last mention of the monster of a ass named Billy G. No sympathy from me,and I think all of BBN is tired of reading anything about the jerk. Foeget him,let’s move on!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Raylan Givens
    9:54 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Grantland has interesting piece about JR Smith while also taking a jab at UofL reneging on a scholarship offer. L1PlayersLast.

  11. Roggensak
    10:01 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    People who keep saying, “We need to forget about Gillispie” Listen up! If you forget about history and sweep it under the rug, It will repeat itself… Get a clue!

  12. john4uk
    10:12 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    I imagine the number one song at Texas Tech is,”Thank God And Greyhound He’s Gone.”

  13. kentuckyjoe
    10:25 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll tell you who benefits; Texas Tech and the players. Anyplace that Billy G leaves, by definition, benefits. Mitch firing him more than makes up for him hiring him. By a factor of 10. Thank you Mitch. You saw a mistake and you rectified it quickly. And boy did you rectify it!

  14. UKnowMe
    10:27 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Peaches and gravy?

  15. Winston Churchill
    10:50 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    National columnists are writing about Gillispie; there’s an ESPN link in this very same article. If it’s relevant to the rest of the entire country,it is obviously particularly relevant to BBN.

    I have a feeling that most of the people protesting against more BCG articles are people who rabidly supported him, and now feel embarrassed and stupid. Guess what? We ALL supported him here- at least at first- and we ALL feel embarrassed and stupid. But it’s not our fault. Who could ever have predicted he was insane?

    It’s the Texas Tech fans who should feel REALLY stupid. We warned them, and they told us we just didn’t understand Toughness in Kentucky. Idiots.

  16. DerbyDemon
    11:01 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    The better question is “Who cares?”

  17. 2020
    11:06 am September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Sad the upward career arc that both Eddie Sutton and Gillispie were on when they arrived at Kentucky, and where they fell afterward.

  18. TTech Playa
    12:40 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Quitting to take care of his health? What a wuss! All tough and macho on the outside, all soft and gooey on the inside. You ain’t hurt Billy Clyde, get your ass back here and make them fire you like a man.

  19. jason
    1:04 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Somewhere Roy Munson is smiling. The term Munson was just replaced with “Gillispied”

  20. Howie
    1:20 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Billy would have had 3 rings at UK by now if he would have stayed, our players today just dont have the toughness that his did. It’s a shame really, great coaches like Billy go unaprecciated because he doesnt let these thugs and gang bangers ya’ll call players walk all over him like other coaches do.

  21. Paycheck
    3:13 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Billy is the winner…he still collects a paycheck

  22. GatorChomp
    4:18 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Billy the Drunk earns more than 119 counties of KY combined. Go back to your trailers.