Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kentucky Basketball: 5 Things UK Fans Hate About Billy Gillispie

Billy Gillispie has been back in the news lately as a possible candidate at Texas Tech, where he could replace the outgoing Pat Knight.

Gillispie's University of Kentucky years are not remembered fondly. He was fired and given almost $3 million to go away.

Here are five things that Wildcat fans dislike about Billy Gillispie.

1. Head Games

Gillispie always messed with his players.

He ran full practices on the day of a game, made Josh Harrellson sit in a bathroom stall for a meeting and told Jodie Meeks to quit at halftime in an NIT game.

2. Abuse

There are rumblings that Gillispie abused his injured players.

A lot of people blame Gillispie for ruining Derrick Jasper's knee. Jasper was coerced back on the court just a few months after having micro-fracture surgery on his knee.

One time, Darius Miller suffered a concussion in practice. Gillispie was so mad that he was going to make Miller walk to the team hotel instead of riding the team bus.

Gillispie made Jodie Meeks continue to play with a serious injury for over a year. Meeks eventually had to shut it down due to the pain.

3. Media

Gillispie was not good with the media. He routinely ignored their questions. He was awkward and uncomfortable when approached.

His run-ins with ESPN sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards were an embarrassment. Being a jerk to a female reporter on national TV is just dumb. It later came out that he had asked Edwards out and was turned down.

The Kentucky job requires the coach to open himself to the public and not be timid in the spotlight.

4. Embarrassment

Gillispie seemed to have personal problems. He didn't make sense in press conferences and looked stressed.

There were rumors that he had a drinking problem and that he was partying with sorority girls. It also seemed strange to many that he bought a mansion even though he was a single man.

5. He Didn't Win

Kentucky coaches are required to get into the tournament and make a deep run year after year. Gillispie just couldn't get it done. The Wildcats were bounced from the NCAA tournament in his first year and didn't make it at all in his second.

With 27 losses in two seasons, the decision for him to go was easy.

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