Billy Gillispie: Is He Staying or Going?

straitpinkieCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 21:  Head coach Billy Gillispie of the Kentucky Wildcats watches the action during the SEC game against the Auburn Tigers at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Guy:  Is Billy Clyde getting fired, when’s it happening, and who’s next?

I say yes, Friday, and Billy Donovan, even though I would rather go after Anthony Grant.


Wink:  Yeah, I think it will be mutual. They will split the buyout.

I’m not a Donovan guy. His teams play no defense and play as soft as Care Bears.

I don’t see Grant making the push from the CAA to Kentucky. But he does need to get out of VCU now because he won’t have Maynor next year.

He will go to ‘Bama unless Donovan goes to UK, in which case he will go to Florida.

Personally, my ideal selection would be Jay Wright. I really like Sean Miller, but I don’t see that happening. Travis Ford is the only real option with UK ties.

And then you have Calipari. Calipari would be interesting and I think he maybe would embrace the opportunity to coach in an elite conference, not the C-USA or A-10. But, he is a God in Memphis and his previous troubles at UMass worry me a little bit.

I hate this process. You know yesterday you mentioned that Tubby left the program in decline.  I don’t understand why after eight years of excellence and two subpar seasons that everyone believed that he packed it in.

I don’t agree with that at all. Yes, I agree he had some local guys that didn’t pan out and some big guy projects that never worked.

But, in this day and age, success is going to fluctuate. It is nearly impossible to sustain dominance year-in and year-out. You can’t go to the Final Four every year.

Syracuse missed the dance and have an opportunity to win a championship this year. UConn missed the dance and have an opportunity to win a championship this year. Puke missed the Sweet 16 the previous two seasons.

This kind of stuff is going to happen. Did Boeheim, Calhoun, and Coach K pack it in? Are they gone?

Are you telling me that if Tubby would have stayed in '07 and then would have brought in Patterson and Jai Lucas that he was packing it in? Could he not have won with that team?

I admit this is my short fuse. I never understood why UK fans were so adamant that Tubby was a failure and that he was running the UK program into the ground.

In my lifetime there have been six things that have occured in the offseason that have absolutely tore me up and Tubby leaving was one of them.

The others are Pitino going to the Celtics, Muggsy Bogues getting traded to Golden State from Charlotte along with Tony Delk for B.J. Armstrong, Michael Jordan retiring the first time, David Justice getting traded to the Indians for Kenny Lofton, and Alan Embree and finally John Smoltz signing with the Red Sox.


Guy:  Something about Grant just screams that he has the “it” factor to me. I’m a big, big fan. I think he would generate some excitement among the players with his youth. Besides, he was part of Patterson’s recruitment at UF, so that couldn’t hurt.

I like Jay Wright too. The way Villanova has played this year has made them my second-favorite team. The man just knows how to put together a backcourt, and I think the big men would fall into place too at UK.

Calipari is certainly intriguing. I can’t imagine his recruting could be much better than it is right now, but UK plus Calipari has to be a scary thought for other coaches. I’m hearing UK is going to make a run at him, but that Sandy Bell may torpedo the thing. Apparently Bell was on the sanctions committee for the NCAA that penalized UMass.

All I know is that this could go from bad to worse to total disaster if we end up with a Travis Ford type.

I understand your dismay about Tubby, and I don’t think he ever stopped doing a good job, but I don’t think his heart was in it at some point along the way. You read that Dick Gabriel article, and there was stuff going on (Saul, assistants) that probably turned him off a bit.

Add that to the fact that UK fans were happy for about two years under Tubby after 1998. He felt like it was time to go, and I think it was for everybody.


Wink:  To me if you don’t bring in Wright or Calipari, than it isn’t a slam dunk and you need a slam dunk, no-brainer this time.

I agree that Tubby was ready to get out, but that was the fan base’s fault. Kentucky fans never gave him the credit he deserved for winning the 1998 title. After that they were constantly looking for reasons to dump him. That is a tough situation for a coach.


Many people are speculating the outcome of this whole situation. already has reported that Billy Gillispie has been fired because he didn’t report to the office today. Normally I would say that it is fine to take a one-day hiatus after a grueling season.  But, when your job is on the line?  Not so much.

Kentucky Sports Radio is insinuating that Lee Todd is the driving force behind Gillispie’s possible dismissal. 

There is not a better sports columnist in the state of Kentucky than John Clay.  In his column following last night’s defeat he discusses how Billy Clyde showed such little emotion.

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