How Kentucky Wildcats Fans' Impatience Has Led to the Program's Downfall
Is it official?
Louisville, Kentucky's news station WHAS has reported that Billy Gillispie will not be returning next season as the head coach.
UK spokesman released a comment saying no decision has been made yet and that these sources are not true. But do you honestly believe they're not true?
They way that this University, and the way that these fans have acted, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Gillispie would be fired by year's end.
One thing I know I'm certain of is it seems this program is spiraling into a deep black hole that not even the title of "best ever" can escape. It's truly a shame. This university has been spoiled ever since the day Pitino left. It seemed nothing would ever be good enough. Now twelve years removed from that fateful day Pitino left for the pros still nothing has been good enough.
In the years Rick Pitino spent at Kentucky, the fans were spoiled with greatness. From 1992 to 1997 the Wildcats made the Elite Eight every year but one. It was this rise to prominence that has now led to the Big Blue downfall.
Unreal expectations have become too much. New coach Tubby Smith was treated with open arms, but that was until he won a national championship. Multiple ten-loss seasons and early tournament exits became too much for the fans to take.
A bad season here or there is not bad, but in the Bluegrass it's a mortal sin. One bad season becomes a downhill roller coaster: The roller coaster that never comes back up.
Orlando "Tubby" Smith began to feel the heat. Fans became irritable and Smith felt the pressure to perform. Eventually this disease was inescapable. Tubby had to get out. So yes, he left on his own terms, but it was caused by unreal expectations at a University where championships matter.
Bad became worse.
Tubby Smith was accused of leaving the program dry, and there were no good players to work with. Although probably Smith's fault, the passion to recruit no longer was in a man that felt unwanted.
Enter Billy Gillispie.
Billy Gillispie was seen as a savior the day he entered Kentucky. Not much known of the 40 some year old man from Texas it seemed as if anyone would be happy with anyone at the helm beside Smith.
That celebration ended not too long after it started. The Cats lost their second game under Gillispie to Gardner Webb. Fans became disgruntled. Yes, two games in some felt the choice was a bad one.
The season was eventually turned around, and for the moment a tragedy was avoided. But you knew the tension was there.
More expectations in year two became too much. Billy G. was treading water by mid season. After a 5-0 SEC start it seemed Gillispie was saved by floatation devices to keep him afloat.
Not too long the floats were punchered, and BCG began to grasp for air. The only thing saving him from drowning was the NIT. The Cats lost and it seems as if Gillispie is gone for good.
Bad relations with the media has quickly become the reason that Gillispie will not be coaching here next season.
In the past coaches have started bad and there was no commotion. In Joe B. Hall's second season the Cats went 13-13. This was the same team minus one player who won 20 games in year one and exited the tournament in round two.
Even after Rupp left the expectations back then are not what they are today, and it's a shame.
Two years is not enough my friends. It's not enough.
Unfortunately because of these unreal expectations BCG has found himself way in over his head. Not the fault of Gillispie, but rather the fault of the fans who allowed this winning to overtake them.
The question marks are still there with Gillispie, but like I said, "It's still year two."
If Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks truly do appreciate Gillispie, and they leave if BCG is fired worse will become destruction. The new coach will be face with a task with zero players who can score.
Let's just hope there a coach in American that's still insane. Because there isn't a sane human being who would take this job. Two years ago I thought people would chomp at the bit to grab the head coaching job.
Now two years later I'm not so sure.
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