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The Closing of the Gillispie Era


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So its now completely over. With his Saturday morning press conference in Lexington, the Billy Gillispie era ended for the Big Blue Nation. Its hard to know exactly how Gillispie will be noted in the grand history of UK basketball. This is a program that went nearly 45 years with two coaches and now has had 2 in three years. Of the six coaches in the modern era, 4 won national championships, one was successful before probation, and then there is Billy. In thirty years, how will we look back on the two tumultuous years the man from Texas had as head of the monster known as Kentucky basketball? We likely wont know that for some time, but what we do know is that for the second time in three years, UK will be back on the search for a new basketball coach. However this time, the search will be much different….more deliberate, less centralized and even more crucial. The Gillispie era has ended but the all-important search for his replacement has just begun.

However before we completely close the book on Gillispie, I do think it is important to recognize how we got here. No matter what Digger Phelps, Michael Wilbon or any other national talking head may say, this decision had little to do with wins and losses. This was simply the case of an individual who was not well-suited to be the basketball coach at Kentucky. While he had moderate success on the floor, off the floor he was a Matt Doherty-like disaster. He never felt comfortable doing the things it takes to succeed here and his authoritarian personality rubbed almost everyone in the wrong way. If you win at Bobby Knight in the 1970s-like levels, you can act that way….but if you win Bobby Knight in the late 1990s-like levels, you cant.

Below are the Five moments that I think led to Gillispie’s downfall. This decision to remove Billy Clyde was not a quick one….it built slowly over time, with each mistake building on the other. Over time the total conglomeration made it too difficult to retain him, and a move had to be made. There is a lot speculated about what happened and when, but in my view and from the information that I know, these were the ultimate causes:

(1): Interpersonal Relationships with Administrators, Boosters and Staff

From very early on in Gillispie’s tenure it was clear that this was a man who would do things his own way and answer to almost no one. Within his first two months on the job, it is rumored that he and Mitch Barnhart began frequently bumping heads, almost exclusively over the inability of Gillispie to accept the secondary parts of the UK job. Within his first two months, he refused various meetings with influential alumni, cancelled a 60 year tradition of the Kentucky coach speaking at the Lexington Rotary Club, refused mutiple requests to do “program building” appearances at various in-state events and generally balked at doing all things that were not basketball related. He showed from the very beginning that he was here to do one thing and one thing only, and that was coach basketball….a job description that unfortunately does not work in Lexington.

In addition, Gillispie turned off many around the UK athletics office with his attitude and style. I have spoken with numerous UK employees who talked about the tension that all felt with Gillispie in the building. Whereas most who work for UK are part of a family atmosphere, there was a sense that Gillispie was rocking the cradle on how things were done. This led to a situation in which Gillispie had very FEW supporters among influential administrators, boosters and staff. All wanted Kentucky to win, but when losses mounted, there were few willing to go to bat for an individual that they had no particular fondness for. That lack of support, which began from Gillispie’s early days here made it much easier to make a change that very few would passionately disagree with.

(2) Derrick Jasper:

It cannot be overstated the impact that the Derrick Jasper situation had on the UK program. Derrick Jasper was a player loved by his teammates and all of those around the program. Jasper is a great kid and the type of player that helps a team both on and off the court. Derrick came to Kentucky for Tubby Smith, and was skeptical of staying in Lexington when a change in leadership occurred. But Gillispie sold Derrick on the idea of being the cornerstone of the new program, and Jasper decided to stay. However from the very beginning, the marriage was doomed to failure. Derrick is a very soft-spoken, mild-mannered kid who doesnt take over criticism well (much like Jodie Meeks). Gillispie’s style of coaching, which includes tremendous criticism and pitches to a player’s manhood destroyed Jasper’s confidence and made him very uncomfortable in practice and games.

Jasper was also of course dealing with his injury that continued to linger. Derrick did not want to return to the court, but after a trainer gave the opinion that he could, Jasper found himself playing again. I have never gotten a clear story on how Jasper ended up on the court (some say Gillispie pressured him into playing, some say that Jasper felt he had to when given the clearance from the trainer), but what is clear is that Derrick regretted his decision to come back. After returning, those close to Derrick have told me that Gillispie challenged the young man a great deal on his “toughness” and if he was going to keep “letting his injury be an excuse.” The treatment turned Jasper off and he made the decision to transfer….thus taking away Kentucky’s best point guard prospect and, potentially even more importantly, a teammate that was well-liked. This team with Jasper on it is a different basketball team, but Gillispie only has himself to blame for Derrick’s departure.

(3) The Media Problems:

For a long time, Gillispie’s prickliness with the media has been known. Since early in his tenure, his decision to mock a question or belittle and individual for saying something he disagreed with (usually with a smirk on his face) was known to all that covered him. Usually he would apologize after such a comment (as he did with me), but no one in the media had a “warm and fuzzy” relationship with him. And then came what I believe was the turning point for the perception of Gillispie, the Jeanine Edwards interviews. What happened in those interviews has been dealt with ad nauseum but three things happened as a result of those interviews.

First, for the first time since Gillispie had arrived, some in the public started to wonder if their beloved coach was actually a jerk. I have heard countless people, particularly women, ask if he was like that normally and question whether that public face should be the coach of the UK basketball program. Second, many in the media thought he crossed the line and it became the cause of the day to blast Gillispie and his attitude when the losing started. Most knew Edwards as a sweet, harmless reporter and seeing her treated poorly led the media to sense blood and begin questioning his attitude at other occasions. And third, it became a direct slap in the face for the Administration. After the first Edwards interview, the administration asked Gillispie to apologize and be careful what he did in the future. He did apologize, but then one week later at the Florida game, he was once again rude, an action that my sources around UK say INFURIATED Mitch and Lee Todd. The thought went that if knowing people were watching and that he needed to be on his best behavior, he STILL couldnt be polite, what hope was there for the future?

Even after all of those Jeanine Edwards issues, Gillispie then made another mistake that older UK fans still bring up to me all the time…..he was perceived as being rude to Tom Leach. Leach, who is one of the nicest men I know, was accused by Gillispie of trying to get him to “turn on his players” just days after Gillispie threw Perry Stevenson under the bus like none other in a post game press conference. Many fans who heard that, which include a lot of the most influential and wealthy UK fans who listen to Tom on their drive home from Rupp, felt that he had crossed the line with someone they consider like family, the UK play by play announcer. Even when Leach said he took no offense (a classy move on his part), the damage was done and the reputation of Billy Gillispie as a jerk stuck for many in the Big Blue Nation. Win and be a jerk and people may forgive you….go to the NIT and be a jerk, and it is time for a change.

(4) PLAYER RELATIONSHIPS

While all of the above are very important, the most significant factor in the downfall of Billy Gillispie was his relationship with the players. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that with only a couple of exceptions, the players simply did not like their coach at all. With a group of young men who were extremely tight as a group, every slight and verbal assault on a teammate became an assault on them and over time, the players simply had no affection for the man in charge. Over the course of a season, countless acts occurred that ruined team chemistry and individual confidence. I am sure there are many more than this, but just a few that I know for certain:

— Coach told Jodie Meeks in a number of games to stop shooting and decried him for his selfishness, even during his 54 point performance in Knoxville. He told Meeks he should quit on a number of occasions and even threatened to kick him off the team in his last game ever, in South Bend during the NIT.

— At halftime of one game, he forced a player to sit in a bathroom stall with the door closed during the entire break because he said he couldnt stand to look at him.

— On more than one occasion, when a young player went into his office to ask for advice on how he could get better, he returned from the office having been berated by the coach and crying as he returned to Wildcat Lodge.

— On one road trip, a player who had been injured but was deemed to be too “soft” by the Coach was told to walk to the hotel from the arena, and only after teammates said that they would be get off the bus and walk with him, was he allowed back on.

— On another road trip, a player who felt the criticism was so strong that he locked himself in a room crying, while the team bus waited outside.

These are just a few of the countless incidents, which in total made the team a gloomy group. Some individuals could handle the criticism and some were not targeted with nearly the same amount of vigor. But the totality of the criticism piled up and led to a team that was tight, afraid to make any mistake and left with no feelings of positivity to their coach. Had Gillispie returned, it is not an exaggeration to say that six to seven players may have left….including names that UK simply could not afford to lose. While no one has ever said this to me officially, the thought of that type of mass player exodus likely would have meant another year of mediocrity or worse next year….which means Gillispie would have been in hot water AGAIN. He simply could not have survived that.

On this site, we hinted at such issues during the year, but out of respect for the players and the team still playing, did not go into detail. But the evidence was there. Remember Dusty Mills and his comments to Jerry Tipton about the way he was treated? Derrick Jasper took heat for going to UNLV and was called a host of names by UK fans for his lack of toughness. Former players who were privy to a lot of those issues such as Kenny Walker, Bobby Perry and the unnamed Jeff Goodman source were LAMBASTED on message boards for speaking out about these very issues. What that showcased to me is that while we say we want to know everything about our program, we do not want to know bad news. Mitch and Lee knew about this and much, much more I am sure. Many fans, while ignoring the info they had been given and blaming the messenger, and not knowing a great deal of the other parts of the situation, nevertheless criticized those making the call. Hopefully that will be a situation that we attempt not to repeat going forward.

(5) The Final Straw:

At the SEC Tournament, I wrote on a live blog that “Billy’s commment about not being an ambassador may be the final straw.” In hindsight, I am even more confident that was the case. After the Ole Miss game, when Billy said he had “not signed on to” be am ambassador for the program, just days after Mitch Barnhart had publically made it clear that was part of the job description….well that was lights out for Billy Clyde. I spoke with someone who was around Lee Todd when he found about this quote and said he was “beyond upset” when he heard it. For a guy who was already on the brink to express that level of cluelessness as to what this job entails….well it meant he likely had to go.

FINAL

I believe this decision has been made for ten days or so and was just finalized and made public yesterday. It is a shame that it had to occur as there are parts of Gillispie’s personality, particularly his passion for the game, that could have been great here in Lexington. But at the end of the day, when your view on the program is different than the administation and when your relationship with players is as it was, it will be hard to succeed.….especially when you arent winning. Jodie Meeks came out this morning in the student newspaper and said that he respected Gillispie but that this was a “good decision.” After following this team for two years, interacting with nearly everyone involved in the program and seeing what I have seen, I think Jodie’s words are spot on. Gillispie is a good Coach and I think he will have success, but he cooked his own goose here. Kentucky needs a Coach who embraces the enormity of the program and succeeds at every facet of it, that was not Billy and the time for change had come.

With that, we will move late tonight and tomorrow to the new search…should be interesting.

Article written by Matt Jones

346 responses to “The Closing of the Gillispie Era”

  1. soup

    Cincy is starting to buzz about Miller and I’ve read a post where somebody heard WLW say that Miller was interested in the job and planned on visiting Lexington on Monday. I haven’t heard, can’t find anything worth mentioning, did anyone else hear this on WLW?

  2. bige

    I agree with MJ. Jasper issue was huge.
    It could have ended Jasper’s career, it could have became and still might end up being a civil issue.

  3. brooklyn

    Wish the national media would pick up on these other issues so potential coaches aren’t scared away by the image that it’s all about wins.

    Now bring on Geno Auriemma.

  4. TheDuck

    Matt: What are your good sources telling you regarding the list of coaches that we CAN get and where they are on the pecking order?

    Thanks. You and your sources, as well as the rest of KSR, has rocked during this whole thing. I will guy ya a round or 10 if your out and about on Bardstown Road anytime soon.

  5. CatFan4444

    Great post.. all you billy g lovers print this and post it on your refrigerators because it’s the truth and you wanted another year of the above attrocities?? Matt didn’t even mention that in two season’s Daddy dearest lost twenty seven games and more games in Rupp than i have on both hands; not to mention the teams we lost to in Rupp. Good decision and and even more impt one is hiring the right guy.

  6. tyson

    does anyone else find it shameful that the media at bcg’s presser clapped at the end? bcg came out looking great and yesterday mitch and lee looked like idiots.

  7. raisingkain8

    Great article.

  8. TheDuck

    7. All Gillispie did today was prove his Jeckly / Hyde personality. He still had the condescending, nice guy grin that alwasy says…your stupid, why are you wasting my time. He will be a success at Texas Tech or NC State

  9. CatFanInDC

    Great write-up, Matt. To be fair to those who claim it was all about wins and losses, as you say, win enough and some of these things might not have been that big a problem. What’s usually lost in all this discussion is that this season ended up being one where the team BADLY underachieved on the court–two superstars + mediocre supporting cast + subpar year for the conference should equal about an SEC title and a mid-single-digit seeding in the NCAA, which is what they were on track for when they were 5-0 in conference, and yet they collapsed and missed the tournament entirely. Gillispie is not a bad coach, but no reasonably objective observer could argue with the conclusion that he did a bad job coaching THIS YEAR. After two years on the job, is it fair to dump someone for one bad season? Probably not…but when combined with all the other stuff you detail, it was too much to overcome, and perhaps too much to expect him to be able to turn it around, particularly if there was going to be that big of a player exodus if he returned.

    That said, and I’m sure many coaches employ over-the-top motivational ploys with their players…telling a mild-mannered All-American that he should quit and threatening to kick him off the team? WTF?! Talk about bad judgment.

  10. lexslamman

    2.

    And Billy D. was in Lexington on Thursday night, and according to Fox Sports was no longer the coach at Florida. Not saying they’re wrong, just saying we should step back and consider whether this search committee could even be at a point where they are interviewing guys like Sean Miller.

  11. bubbashine

    Let’s not be rude to Jeannine by spelling her name “Jeanine”. That’s the second time if had to correct this. I was taking a hard look and hoped it wouldn’t happen again. I’m infuriated.

  12. joneagin

    Thank you for posting this Matt…I happen to know a few people who did reveal some of this to me during the year. I was so shocked because all most of us had ever seen was the “good ol boy” we saw at the press conference this morning. As I found out more and more about some of the ways he was treating players, it almost seemed as if he were bipolar. I was all for the firing by the time we got to the end of the year because of the things you mentioned. However, it was very frustrating to see people come out bashing those who brought any of these points up because they were not “true fans” who had “no evidence” about these things. This is why I respect Mitch. He may have made a mistake in hiring Gilliespie at the start, but everyone raved about the hiring when it was made. No one seemed to know about this side of Billy. However, Mitch made a move that he HAD to make, knowing he would take heat from everyone. Congrats Mitch, I am glad you are the AD. Now lets make a grand slam hire.

  13. wingman

    Allow me to suggest a couple of lessons from a program in college sports that resembles that of UK basketball: Alabama football. That program, after suffering through a number of years in the wilderness, is back on track (12-0 regular season; back-to-back #1 recruiting classes). How’d they do it? (Let’s bracket, for our purposes, accusations of cheating.)

    On November 27, 2006, Mike Shula was fired. Six weeks later, on January 3, 2007, Nick Saban became the new coach after repeatedly denying that he was interested in the job, at one point flatly stating that “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”

    The lessons, I think, are these:

    1. File this under “duh,” but the choice of a coach is of utmost importance. Just because we’re UK doesn’t mean that an average coach will restore the program. (To return to the Alabama football analogy, see Shula, Mike; Price, Mike; Franchione, Dennis; DuBose, Mike.) We must get the best and that means either Donovan or Calipari.

    2. Unlike the BCG hire, UK should take their time to get this one right. Although I certainly don’t want to wait 6 weeks, the search should not be rushed and we should try to be patient. There is the danger of impatient recruits looking elsewhere, but this coaching decision is bigger than any one player or even any one recruiting class.

    3. In the high-dollar world of big-time college sports, declarations of a Donovan or a Calipari that they are everlastingly devoted to their present jobs doesn’t mean squat. A little patience and a lot of money will work wonders.

  14. univky

    Very good article Matt. Darius was the player who was kicked off the bus. I heard about it the next day. The man is a jerk. I have lived in NC for 25 years and have a lot of UNC friends who are pretty well connected. Reminds me exactly of what they told me of Matt Doherty’s time there.

    People need to realize that his press CONference to day was just that….. A con job. He wants a job and he wants a settlement. That’s ALL today was about.

  15. tyson

    8. agreed

    9. not sure more wins would have been enough. matts article shed light on what was going on, but i dont think he stressed enough the amount of misery, chaos and dysfunctionality that surrounded bcg.

  16. bubbleup

    7)I think that you are right re: Jekyl & Hyde. I’m no psychiatrist (and I didn’t stay and a Holiday Inn Express last night) but I really wonder if the guy is bi-polar? Either that, or a pretty good manipulator.

  17. brucewayne2

    Any more gillispie supporters out there? yall must really feel like idiots now.

  18. CatFanInDC

    3, I’m pretty sure that coaches have better sources of info they look to besides just the national media. Even so, with a couple of exceptions, the media seems to be treating this situation pretty fairly, IMO. There seems to be widespread national media acknowledgment that BCG turned out to be a bad fit for the program, and that UK just has different expectations from most other places.

  19. gcm

    Several problems right off the bat with BCG were the Marta McMackin(?sp) and the president of 101. Matt was there any mention or do you know of any physical altercation with Josh.

  20. TheDuck

    I think once Matt has had time to digest and review (like a good attorney would) all of his sources information we will get quite a few post over the next week that will tell more type stories like the ones in this post. At the very least it will fill our time with good reading before the next coach comes on board.

  21. PrinceFor3GOOOD

    I really feel you could of added the home loss to Georgia in this list of reasons. The team at that particular point in the season looked miserable and it was obvious the team was extremely unhappy. That really seemed to a big turning point for the season, possibly the most hurtful to the fan base?

  22. The_Source

    It’s not like we need to apologize for firing him, which it seems like many are doing. That he was not a “good fit” is enough. I was sick of this story two
    weeks ago. I hope we don’t have to hear about it for months to come, but I guess we probably will. People are still going on about Tubby two years later,
    so why should this be different.

  23. CatFanInDC

    16, if the Cats had won the SEC East, reached the finals and/or won the SEC tourney, and then reached the second of the NCAAs or even made the Sweet Sixteen, do you think the players would have had that bad a relationship with BCG by the end of the season? I doubt it. Ramel and Joe loved him after they turned things around last year, didn’t they?

    Winning helps on a lot of fronts. If the coach is berating you and you’re losing, he’s an abusive jerk, but if you’re winning, well, there’s probably a method to his madness. But BCG just didn’t find the right balance this season with this group of players, and after he “lost” enough of them, he couldn’t turn it around.

  24. KentuckyHouse

    13) You’re dead on right. Great post wingman and great post Matt.

  25. RuppsRingFinger

    Great work, Jones.

    All you Gillispie supporters ask yourself, “would I let my kid
    play for him?”

    I feel sick that I ever supported an ass like this.
    When I coached I was tremendously hard on my kids,
    but this is beyond reason.

  26. LaurelLou in Blue

    You know, I’m not sure if this has to do with BCG’s “contract” or what, and maybe I haven’t been paying attention as closely as I should, but did BCG do any of the endorsements that other coaches have traditionally done?

    There are many little things and many big things he failed to do to ingratiate himself with the fans and the community, both through winning games, but also through showing some reverence for the program, the school, the city of Lexington, and the Commonwealth. And that really is the crux of this whole story.

  27. winston

    Gillispie’s motivational tactics with players are certainly different, but making a big deal out of forcing a player to sit in a bathroom stall or walk to the hotel is laughable. It makes us sound like a bunch of babies.

  28. wildcatcorner

    That player that was told to walk was Miller from what I heard (WLAP).

  29. winston

    This admin. does not want a coach that is demanding to the degree of Gillispie. They would prefer a Tubby-type.

  30. talbottb

    Awesome stuff, Matt. Looks like Doyel has learned about what is REALLY going on @ UK with your help–any chance you could e-mail this to Seth Davis, Michael Wilbon and the other ESPN heads that will regirgitate “fishbowl”, “like Alabama footbal”, “birthrite”, “expect a national championship every year”, etc.?

    I have a feeling we’ll be sick to death of those terms by the time we announce a hire.

  31. UK-Believe

    good riddance…

  32. The_Source

    Nothing will change the fact that the AD dropped the ball on the hire. Also if he knew about this abuse of the players why did he let it continue? Often coaches are fired mid-season. I guess the possibility of a turnaround for the season over rides how players are treated. The more I hear the more i think
    the administratin needs to be looked at and changes made there as well.

  33. Tommy

    I’m looking forward to watching a team last year that hopefully will be having fun. This team has looked mostly miserable, in good and bad times, for the last 2 years.

  34. yen

    which of the available coaches would be best for Meeks, in terms of utilizing him as a 30 ppg gtg, while getting the most out of role players Stevenson, Miller, Pilgrim, Liggins, Stewart, Orton, Hood, Porter, Harris? That is assuming Patterson bolts for the NBA, which appears likely.

  35. bige

    MJ has better judgement than me. Nice job Matt.

  36. TheDuck

    31. One way to get back is add PTI to your twitter account if you have any and just bash Wilbon. I have been for a week and they respond. Funny stuff.

  37. BillyGIsNotMyLover

    Meeks, Jasper, Miller, etc. seem like they’re up there on the list of quality people/nice kids to ever have won the uniform. And their ego/talent ratio seems very low (low ego, high talent). Just the kind of kids any coach should want on his team. How BCG had a problem with any of them… I don’t get it.

    Maybe if BCG had played a day of basketball for even a mid-major quality program, he’d have a better understanding of “toughness” and what it takes to play ball.

  38. pete

    Great piece Matt! Gosh Gillispie reminds me of pledging a frat. I feel like he should go be some high school football coach down in Texas that literally works his players out so hard that they puke.

    One other thing that wasn’t mentioned that really blew my mind is when he told all of the NBA Kentucky players that came back in the summer to play with the current players to leave. I just can’t believe that.

  39. bige

    I can’t believe he would do that to players. This is the flagship University of Kentucky and BCG is pulling this stuff. I wonder what level of accountability this could lead to and how this will play into the settlement.

  40. yen

    and someone else, i picked Galloway for some reason, decides to leave, probably as a transfer. btw Who is going to transfer?

  41. thetruthurts

    Hope his next employer hears all of this.

  42. winston

    35….more confusing than anything. There are players on this team that are soft. I am not saying Gillispie’s tactics are necessarily the best route, but acting like its an atrocity is a bit much.

  43. UK-Believe

    i can now understand why a team with so much talent, under preformed so much now

    it seems more like they OVERACHIEVED with having such a ****** as a coach…

    makes me sick to think of how good we could have been and with such great and humble personalities on the team, just wish i could have seen this team have fun!

    go Cats!

  44. fatboyob5

    wow… that stuff he did to the players is crazy.

    i know that there are probably many cases of this at several programs around the country… but wow. my opinion on the man has certainly changed.

  45. UK-Believe

    39) i stopped liking him ever since i heard about that…

  46. yen

    btw: BCG = POS

  47. JATR4

    30. Since it is NOT about wins and losses, the administration should have paid Tubby 6 million a year to stay. He would have kissed their a**es all the way to the bank.

    If anyone thinks the job of basketball coach at UK is NOT about wins and losses they are CRAZY. If not about wins and losses, just hire Pelphrey. He is a great guy with Kentucky ties. And almost everyone likes him. Forget about wins and losses. Hire Pelphrey–or beg Tubby to come back.

    No more final fours, but that is OK, since it is not about wins and losses.

  48. yen

    which is what KY fans have on their face atm. great talk fellas.

  49. UK-Believe

    Matt, you said at the end of the season last year, he just gave the reigns over to Crawford and Bradley, why would he not do that with Patterson/Meeks?

  50. greenwell

    Good job Matt! Understandably, this kind of info would have been damaging to the program if released before now. I was BCG’s biggest supporter through the end of the season and now that the information is finally surfacing, I think the best decision was made yesterday. Unfortunately, his charm goes a long way but in my experience, anyone that CONSTANTLY talks about honesty, being a straight shooter and being a company man is someone you should really watch closely. Check your pockets at the door kinda guy.

  51. thetruthurts

    43 bottom line is he doesn’t know how to get the best out of his players. Where are all of the “no talent” bashers now. Now we now why his team wasn’t living up to potential.

  52. CatFanInDC

    44, maybe there’s a pretty fine line between whether this sort of stuff works or not. Things certainly didn’t look bad from the outside when they were 5-0 in conference, and the fact that he got last year’s group to 12-4 in conference was quite impressive.

    But the coach does have to be accountable if it all falls apart like that.

  53. HanOfTheBluegrass

    It would be nice if someone would send the link to this post to the national media.

    I know guys like Bomani and Doyel might read them, but it would be nice for someone to specifically bring up some of the reasons Billy didn’t fit on ESPN. Yes, ultimately Mitch and Lee should have asked more questions at A&M and UTEP to find out what Billy was like off the court, but people need to know just how bad things were for the team.

    I wondered all year why this team never took any steps forward, and if he was truly as bad as this post suggests (and many rumors say worse things), it’s no wonder his team seemed to quit on him.

    I commented on this site a few days ago that I miss seeing UK players that seemed to have fun on the court. Yeah, practice is always hard, and there’s classes, and general stress, but the last 4 years or so, it seems like the players have not been enjoying being at Kentucky. That’s a huge shame.

    (Also, who nuked Gidel’s post?)

  54. thetruthurts

    Winston there is a big difference between pushing the kids hard and being an a**hole.

  55. tyson

    48 jatr4, it IS about wins and losses at uk, but the firing of bcg was NOT about wins and losses. it was about him not being able to get along or be civil to ANYBODY.

  56. thetruthurts

    57 you honestly think the admin didn’t know what was going on?

  57. username

    #53
    Obviously you’ve never held a position of high authority in the workplace. You can’t motivate people/players with the old school mentality anymore pal.

  58. beentheredonethat

    My question now is: Who damaged the program more Maggard?… the people who were pointing to the smoke all year or self serving jackasses like you who covered it up or worse yet perpetrated a fraud on your subscribers with all your so called “verified” sources?

  59. R. Smith

    so how long does it take for us to put all this behind us?

  60. GhostofMarkPope

    I have to admit that I was a gillispie supporter until yesterday. I thought that with a little patience his win loss record would improve and everyone would forget about his awkwardness with the media and other offcourt issues just like it subsided when he went 12-4 in the SEC last year. But, as more info comes out about how he treated the players I think the right decision was definitely made. At what institution will a coach who locks a player in the toilet stall at halftime be a good fit?

  61. thetruthurts

    66 I wouldn’t say they followed him as much as ignored him, none of them were his guys and they were big time so they just ignored him.

  62. winston

    62, you can but it takes a certain type. Tactics like Gillispie’s in the workplace are completely different than on a basketball court……no comparison

  63. floorgeneral22

    53 Trust me that kind of crap does not have a place in college athletics. A guy asks you how you can get better and he berates you until you cry? Oh yeah, that is really constructive. Tubby Smith, Rick Pitino, Jim Calhoun, and other coaches can all push a player without psychologically crucifying them.

    In community college I had to do up downs one time until I threw up twice. I’ve had coaches work out teams i’ve played on so hard that the next morning I couldn’t get out of bed. There is nothing wrong with pushing people in that perspective. NEVER IN MY LIFE did I have a coach tell a player to walk home because he was “soft” or lock a player in a stall. I have never seen a successful coach refuse to talk to a player about how to get better. BCG in some ways reminds me of my high school coach that yelled so much it just became a droning noise that we tuned out. It sucked all the fun out of the game and nobody really wanted to play. My senior year we were 8-20 in a so-so region because none of us gave a rats ass anymore, we just wanted out.

    You get better results from your players when you work them hard on the floor and criticize them when they make mistakes. But if you are an unapproachable a-hole off the floor? Be prepared to lose and lose a lot. Bobby Knight may have been a psychopath but his players said consistently that they could talk to him about anything. Even Luke Recker admitted that much.

  64. UK-Believe

    you say its about wins and losses, well hows losses to VMI, Gardner Webb, Georgia, San Diego, etc?

    combined with his personality to the media, ad, president, etc

    combined with him not understanding what a UK coach is = bye bye

    if you all like him so much, follow him to NC State or wherever hes going

  65. username

    #59 So your saying that if your performance wasn’t up to par at the office, and your boss told you to camp out in the crapper the rest of the day, you would suddenly change your behavior??

  66. thetruthurts

    67 don’t know a bunch of them dissapeared

  67. winston

    floor general….didn’t mention the office meeting, but also don’t know what was said. The stall and bus events are irrelevant. If that type of stuff will break you, you are already doomed. Also…Gillispie wasn’t one to yell a lot I don’t believe.

  68. Trashmaster

    Hi, My Mane is Brian and I am an ex Gillispie supporter. It all began back in 2007 when……….. and the crowd says HI BRIAN!

  69. BillyGIsNotMyLover

    winston, dude, there’s a difference between being a hard-nosed, tough coach and being an abusive, drunken father/husband.

  70. bige

    Wonder what the chance of John Wall looking at UK is now?

  71. pji

    I don’t remember a lot of people being critical when Jasper left. Maybe disappointed, but not many personal attacks (there are always some from the fringe). In fact, I think a lot of people admired the fact he played so well on one good leg. Agreed BCG handled this incorrectly, and I feel sorry for Jasper that he had to put out a cover up story to the media. He must have really left with resentment if he did not come back for the NIT game (assuming he was given the option to travel).

  72. CatFanInDC

    60, the best coaches know how to balance their tactics against who’s on the roster. BCG’s methods apparently got through OK to Ramel and Joe last year, and with those two as the team leaders, it eventually worked. But obviously it didn’t work with Jodie this year. A more savvy coach would have found a way to adjust to his personnel in both cases.

  73. gorbe ye abi

    I made a few remarks earlier that I now believe to be incorrect. I stand corrected.

    My apologies Matt.

  74. mattcat68

    Negative energy breeds negative energy. No wonder the players didn’t look like they were having fun. UK needs someone to come in and provide some positive energy. I also wonder if the recruits opinions would change any towards BCG after finding out what he’s really like?

  75. UK-Believe

    you can say all you want about him being tough to players, but when you run out great players like Jasper, legion, and would have been 5+ more players had he not been fired, its more than just trying to make your players “tough”

  76. Trashmaster

    Please don’t bash UK fans. Some were in the know and some were not and many were unsure and many were in denial. Let’s let this go and support each other.

  77. CatFanInDC

    My comment #74 was in response to #58, not #60 as it appeared when I posted it.

  78. thetruthurts

    73 yea I don’t either, he was my fave and I knew when he left it was huge. what did we miss most this year? a PG.

  79. winston

    71, true…but whether Billy is abusive is up for debate. He is neither a drunken father or drunken husband.

  80. The_Source

    Hopefully the News agencies will pick up on this abuse crap so the AD will have to be accountable. Lee should have fired him along with Billy G.

  81. kc4enics

    x-Coach is a cocksucker, but him putting making a player set on the shitter isn’t that big of a deal, IMO. During AAU or highschool, same time frame, I had a coach make a teammate sit on the sitter while he bitched everyone else out at halftime. I don’t think that is that big of a deal. But the constent rumors of what else took place make this a bad situation. I think the Admin. had to make this move.

    What do you think Matt, regarding the MOU? It looks to me like UK may have a case with some of the language that was used.

  82. TheDuck

    So the questions becomes this. With the coach and all of his staff gone and Mr. Keightly gone, who is going to stay close to the current players until the new coach gets here? Who will they go to as a mentor? Who will they go to with questions and secrets and ask for advice. The coaching staff are these guys family (for any that are not from the immediate area) and they can not be left alone for a significant amount of time. It can not or will not be Mitch or Dr. Todd. Who?

  83. gorbe ye abi

    74) I agree. As a PSG in the Army, I had to adjust my approach with each soldier. It’s leadership 101.

  84. thetruthurts

    78 well said its time to move on, if we all band together just think how strong we can be. Screw the crazies in Cameron!

  85. UK-Believe

    82) you dont fire a president because a wrong coach was hired…even with this being UK basketball

  86. The_Source

    I hope the administration is at least offering those poor kids professional therapy

  87. chucknorrisstotalgym

    #84= Matt Jones

  88. mattcat68

    73) I remember the criticism of Jasper when he left. There was plenty of it right here in the comments sections. People were definitely calling him weak and challenging his toughness. I said it then and I will say it again, any person coming off surgery and still dealing with pain, yet playing through it like Jasper did, should never have their toughness questioned.

  89. JATR4

    Donovan locked his players out of their practice facility and refused to let them ewear their Florida practice gear.

    Glad Donovan didn’t come here. He is such a jerk for doing that. Not Kentucky coaching material.

  90. E Cat

    Thanks for clearing up the Edwards situation. That’s what I thought: that he apologized on orders and then acted a fool again. I have heard all these transgressions, and some that were worse. You could tell the chemistry went to pot even during the 5-0 SEC start, so I think this had credence.

    To boot, he wouldn’t run a screen for Jodie the second half of year.

  91. BPsycho

    — Coach told Jodie Meeks in a number of games to stop shooting and decried him for his selfishness, even during his 54 point performance in Knoxville. He told Meeks he should quit on a number of occasions and even threatened to kick him off the team in his last game ever, in South Bend during the NIT.

    — At halftime of one game, he forced a player to sit in a bathroom stall with the door closed during the entire break because he said he couldnt stand to look at him.

    — On more than one occasion, when a young player went into his office to ask for advice on how he could get better, he returned from the office having been berated by the coach and crying as he returned to Wildcat Lodge.

    — On one road trip, a player who had been injured but was deemed to be too “soft” by the Coach was told to walk to the hotel from the arena, and only after teammates said that they would be get off the bus and walk with him, was he allowed back on.

    — On another road trip, a player who felt the criticism was so strong that he locked himself in a room crying, while the team bus waited outside.

    IF THIS IS THRUTHFUL. Then I’m glad hes gone.

  92. LaurelLou in Blue

    The players are a lot smarter than people give them credit for. It’s great for a coach or a parent to be tough. To set their expectations high. But there does have to be a balance. Players who are secure in a coach’s faith in them, that the coach cares about the players, their development on and off the court, their well-being and full recovery from injuries, etc.. will give and give and give to a coach like that. Coaches who are tough in the right ways, will also offer praise when it’s rightfully earned. When Meeks had the best night of his career, his coach did not offer the praise and the positive reinforcement necessary to make a hard-nosed approach successful.

    I think the players were probably seeing two sides of BCG. They would see the guy in a press conference say things like “This loss is my fault, I accept the responsibility for it.” and then go into the locker room and berate and humiliate the players for the loss, and I’m sure BCG had players he singled out and players he ignored. Likewise, they probably heard their coach say something to the press about being proud of the guys, but they would never hear it directly from their coach.

  93. ShivelyKatFan

    #1, I hope you’re right! Sean Miller would be a fantastic choice. We don’t need an old school guy that will only be here 10 yrs or less (Izzo, Barnes). We don’t need Travis Ford, who is maybe even more of a jerk than BCG (if that is possible). For God’s sake please give up on Billy D already. He obviously doesn’t want to coach here and we shouldn’t want him anymore either. Miller should be strongly considered. I can see him coming in and staying 25 years.

  94. thetruthurts

    JATR4 why don’t you and Billy G go have a nice life together

  95. TheDuck

    93. Are you calling Matt and his sources liars? They are usually spot on and more importantly they do not report until rumors have grown to facts.

  96. Trashmaster

    Source> I agree they have been bruised and battered and need to be healed. I think they are very close as a group much like abused siblings and will stay very close because of the experience but they need to work some of their emotions out for the better.

  97. kaiser

    I think is’t best for all that he is gone- but I am not sure I would call these atrocities- that’a bit much

  98. BettyBlue

    How many of the incidents about BCG are true and not just more rumors?

  99. The_Source

    Wait till ESPN picks up on the abuse allegations. The shit storm is just beginning.

  100. mr indiana

    does sean miller run a up and down style of offense?

  101. thetruthurts

    95 yes bring in Miller. But not Matta!

  102. ShivelyKatFan

    # 84…that is a very good point. Wow, when you think of it, we’ve lost a lot of the UK past in the last 10 yrs or so. No Cawood, no Mr. Wildcat. Again, a very good point and one that needs to be addressed.

  103. JATR4

    96. BCG will have 6 million dollars but I will have nothing.

    Why don’t you suck the Tub?

  104. Biggass Hungguy

    — At halftime of one game, he forced a player to sit in a bathroom stall with the door closed during the entire break because he said he couldnt stand to look at him.

    Sorry, but this one gets me every time I read it. Of all the bad he did, I would be ok with another year simply because of this.

  105. thetruthurts

    102 He is pretty diverse and plays whatever style is needed to win. He doesn’t seem to recruit just based on style of play, he just recruits good players and makes them very good.

  106. ShivelyKatFan

    Someone send BCG a copy of “The Thin Thirty”.

  107. mattcat68

    I’m still baffled by the riff between Gillispie and Meeks. Why would anyone tell one of the best scorers in the country to “stop shooting?” Especially when you need points.

  108. Rob Gidel

    I would also add that the contract BS really bugged the crap out of Barnhart (as if you couldn’t tell yesterday).

  109. thetruthurts

    109 EGO!

  110. Azubuikebicep

    As an alumnus (a poor one with no influence) I am relieved Billy was fired. He was a terrible representative for the school. Every time the guy got in front of a microphone or camera it made me cringe.

    Matt, how do you think the allegations you cite, particularly under #3&4, will influence the legal dispute? The MOU suggests that Billy only gets the $6mil if he is terminated “without cause.” Granted, the MOU does not define “cause,” but couldn’t one argue that the allegations you cite gave UK a cause to fire Billy? This is assuming the MOU is actually a contract.

  111. gcm

    Miller would be an excellent choice as coach. He was a point guard in college which would help in developing one here. On the BCG front. If anyone has ever dealt with anyone with a drinking problem, when they start jonesing for a drink or are hungover they act with a very short fuse…..just saying.

  112. The_Source

    I for one am completely falbbergasted. I still can’t seem to wrap myself
    around our players hving to suffer the treatment/abuse of that monster Gillispie. I am appalled that this was allowed to continue.

  113. ShivelyKatFan
  114. gcm

    112. No way this goes to court for that very reason. It would cost BCG way more that part of the 6 mill.

  115. Trashmaster

    IMO The “issues” Matt has given us might be the least shocking that can be reported at this time. Might there be more that are even worse that would be more damaging. I mean for a kid to lock himself in a room because he can’t deal with the realities of Coach sounds very similar to an emotional breakdown by the player that is not easily overcome.

  116. thetruthurts

    113 good point

  117. Matt_Jones_conscious

    Do you think they believed us.

  118. thetruthurts

    119 the truth hurts but you need to accept it.

  119. The_Source

    Im sorry about the emotion, but thinking of those poor kids going through that makes me want to cry.

  120. scott14

    Hey Matt, you said previously that you had only gone public with around 10% of what you know. Do we get the other 90% soon. This was a great post and an eye opener, but surely it isn’t all you have. Like MB said yesterday, “We want our student athletes to have a positive experience here”, as they should. These are 19-20 year old kids who deserve better.

  121. Matt_Jones_conscious

    As soon as one of the players come out and confirm the story I will accept it. Until then spin city, baby

  122. The_Source

    Please tell me theres not more

  123. gcm

    It also sound like BCG read “A season on the brink” and thought it was a coaching manual. Many of the stories that Matt has told could be taken almost word for word. The big diffence is that BCG hadn’t already won two national titles on his way to winning a third..

  124. Trashmaster

    The positive experience for student athletes was stated by MB at least 3 times during the presser and that has stuck with me more than anything he said.

  125. mattcat68

    This brings up another isse. BCG was telling Meeks not to shoot in the huddle, then telling the press that Meeks always has the green light. Then you have the situation where BCG told the media that Stewart quit the team and felt remorse, but Stewart continues to state that he never quit the team. No wonder this team looked confused, they were. That’s not leadership.

  126. thetruthurts

    I think the Miller thing deserves more thought. I work at Xavier and follow them when the Cats aren’t on. He is not only a great coach but an exceptional person, having met him several times. He would be a great hire and could big a dynasty type guy if he would leave XU. He may be waiting for the Pitt job since he went there.

  127. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy

    Calipari. Donovan. Or Bust.

  128. Trashmaster

    mattcat68> good perception.

  129. thetruthurts

    123 the players unlike billy have too much class for that.

  130. scott14

    Matt, regarding MOA: It states that all of the terms contingent upon a formal contract being signed within 60 days. Therefore UK could argue the terms became extinct after 60 days. However, BCG’s side could counter with the fact that all terms of the MOA were continued for nearly 2 years, i.e. he continued to be the coach and received compensation per the MOA, so why no enforce the buyout. Your legal perspective??

  131. TJ Taylor

    “Former players who were privy to a lot of those issues such as Kenny Walker, Bobby Perry and the unnamed Jeff Goodman source were LAMBASTED on message boards for speaking out about these very issues. What that showcased to me is that while we say we want to know everything about our program, we do not want to know bad news.”

    It may have been out there somewhere before, but it’s the first time I every saw this information.

    I have seen very generalize suggestive comments. Who knows what that means. An achy little finger or upset stomach. Surely no decent human being would stand by with information like this and not do everything they could do to address it. Never before this have I seen any actual information as to what was being ineffectively generalized to the people you suggest would care.

    When people generalize, the natural reaction it to assume the lesser probability of what it might mean. If it truly was something extreme, people generally assume someone knowing this would have enough character to stand up and do the right thing. Yet we criticize the people who did not figure out what all the half-butt generalization was suppose to mean.

    My initial reaction is that people who knew this kind of information and allowed it to continue by turning their heads and not saying anything have to accept that they played a roll in how long it went on. I am both ashamed and embarrassed for them.

  132. The_Source

    I think this justifies at the very least making sure that our next coach
    is not allowed to be around the team unsupervised at least for a period of time
    to make sure these kids never have to face these types of things again.

  133. thetruthurts

    129 I agree but I think once again the ad has made the mistake of thinking they can get anyone. Hope I’m wrong but if not I think Miller is a great hire.

  134. chucknorrisstotalgym
  135. TJ Taylor

    would not care that should say

  136. The_Source

    133 good point

  137. Trashmaster

    The players might talk publicly in 30 years via book deal but I don’t see it happenning any sooner. If they talk it will mean big spotlight on something negative for many years and will even follow them into next year and the NBA. Just imagine Vital going off and all the interviews and Billy G’s denial. What a mess. They need to resolves this in private.

  138. thetruthurts

    I heard that Thad Matta is a top list guy, I hope this is not true. He would be a terrible hire for UK

  139. gcm

    I believe we will be chosing our coach from the following people. I’m not saying I completely agree with who the choice will be

    Ford
    Miller
    Dixon

    I think Donovan will not be asked. I think Calipari will say no. We cannot turn this into a “I turned Kentucky down” type deal. It put’s us in a bad light, and gives cred to our “unrealistic expectations” rep.

  140. thetruthurts

    139 spot on

  141. nlk

    Looks like the pussification of this country is nearly complete.

    Wwwwaaaaahhhhh, he made me sit in the shitter

    Boo-friggin-hoo, I’m locking myself in my room and not coming out

    If he pushed Jasper to play when not healthy, and it sounds like he did, then that player has a genuine gripe. But I agree that Meeks tried to do too much at times, and the rest of these complaints sounds like they came from a middle-school girls team.

  142. Captain Awesome

    posts like this are why i come to this site.

  143. The_Source

    This is why the AD should have stepped up and put an end to this our guys were in a situation they could not possibly get out of. I can’t imagine how vulnerable they felt and probably still do with no one there to guide them.

  144. thetruthurts

    141 hopefully Miller. Don’t know much of Dixon and don’t think Travis fits. I wouldn’t say Cal would say no though, I don’t think they will offer to him.

  145. Trashmaster

    TJ Taylor> I agree that if the media members, staff and admin knew this was going on they should take some of the blame. They were either in denial or they were enabling a serious situation.

  146. BurnerTurner5

    After reading that I have to apologize for getting angry at those that were bashing CBC. Being a tireless and agressive recruiter is not enough to offset the bad things that were going on. Now let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope we get the best coach possible.

  147. gcm

    You do these things if they work,sit in the shitter,walk home,etc…A good coach know which players can take this, and which can’t. A coach who is in over his head does this to all the players…

  148. Japrick

    What does everybody think about possibly going after Beilein?

  149. Captain Awesome

    after the edwards interviews, i think the whole country could see the real clyde. i was more embarrassed after those 2 interviews than i was last year in nashville, gardner webb, or vmi. clyde is an a$$. UK deserves better than that.

  150. thetruthurts

    150 not much

  151. BillyGIsNotMyLover

    In addition to thinking “ambassador” wasn’t on the job description, it seems clear that BCG thought “making the team tougher at all costs” was a priority over winning games.

  152. HanOfTheBluegrass

    105) What BCG will have remains to be seen, but you sure are hung up on that? You’re that guy that keeps talking about something, even though no one else agrees and no one wants to talk to you, but you don’t get the clue and change the subject or leave.

    116) If it went to court, I imagine players would be called to testify. I don’t think either side would want it to get to that point. And what both sides said in public about the $6 mil could be bs, anyhow. They could have already agreed to a number in private and both be posturing for the sake of future negotiations with other parties, etc.

    122) I bet more comes out, but Matt and other high-profile bloggers/media won’t say too much, as UK will, for now, want to keep a lot of it quiet, and if you go against the school, you can lose privileges. My guess is, depending on the buy-out discussions and what Gillispie is willing to accept, we will or won’t hear more specifics from reputable sources. If Gillispie makes a big, public deal out of it, behind-the-scenes stuff will be leaked by anonymous, but trustworthy sources within the university, opening the floodgates.

    That’s the way a lot of this stuff tends to go.

  153. BurnerTurner5

    That also explains why the team may not have been as tight as they seemed to be early in the year. At Big Blue Madness they looked like a bunch of Dukies that can’t keep their hands off each other.

  154. TJ Taylor

    It‘s not as bad as a person who lacks the moral fiber to do something when they see someone drowning or a house on fire within someone in it and fail to try everything they can to help. It isn’t that extreme, but it comes from the same inadequate human traits.

    What is shows me is everyone has a price. In this case the price would have been risking the loss one’s place, access and/or stature with the program.

  155. Jaxalum

    ABSOLUTELY GREAT POST. Nice snapshot into what was going on and really helps answer some blatant questions I had watching our games this year. Enlightening.

  156. Thaxonator

    UK needs to get someone with talent coming into the school. Cal has 2 possibly 3 5 star guys coming into Memphis next year. Jamie Dixon has a 5 star guy and a couple others. Donovan has a 5 and a 4 star. Izzo has a 4 start and a couple of 3’s. We need someone who can bring in people because if they don’t and Orton doesn’t stick around next season could be bad again. FYI Thad Matta has NO ONE coming to Ohio State so far….

    http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/commitlist.asp

  157. gcm

    150. Beilein is a good coach. But he is 56. If he was going to be elite, I think he would have done it by now..just saying

  158. catfanjohn

    i hate thad matta! well i hate anything ohio state period and i want no part of them or their coach. i just dont think that he would be a good fit at uk

  159. tltaworl62

    Guys, take a step back here. While alot of these things are bad, think about Rupp & Pitino. I personally witnessed Pitino breakdown Mark pope during a pickup game @ his summer camp! The next guy we bring in is going to break down players to bring them back up. Before we get to over blown with hating what Billy may or may not have done, lets think about some of our historic coaches and their tempers. Billy may have been par for the course

  160. TJ Taylor

    It’s easy stand up and being the bold hero after the fact.

  161. bakedawg

    CALIPARI OR BUST!!! Seriously fellas, we have to get CALIPARI!!! If we open the checkbook way up, he will come.. Everyone (and tell every single UK fan u know) to email mitch and lee todd, be polite and say it has to be JOHN CALIPARI!!! Ive already sent them 3 emails (from different addresses of course).. come on guys, do it.. CALIPARI OR BUST!!

  162. Captain Awesome

    127 – good point

  163. seanb
  164. BigBlueFan

    The Tom Leach incident(s) and the treatment of Jodie Meeks are really unforgivable in my mind. I’m really really happy for these players now. Hopefully we can get a coach in here that will use them to their potential and treat them with love and respect. billy had none.

  165. catfanjohn

    right now the best fits that i see are calipari, few, maybe izzo and calipari again and calipari. oh and calipari

  166. tltaworl62

    I like what Mitch has done with other sports, but he lost my confidence when he sits in the press conference and says he doesn’t regret hiring Billy G. How is that possible if he has been a problem from the start. I hope Billy does well, unless he plays the Cats

  167. thetruthurts

    161 nope Billy is a bigger d**k than the others and he lost the team. Rupp and Pitino had the players respect.

  168. Trashmaster

    “Student athletes” meaning a part of the University. If one of these players were in Math class and had performed poorly on a test would the teacher be allowed to make that “student” sit in the shitter as punishment? What is the difference? If a “student” had been verbally abused so bad by a teacher that they had to lock themselves in a room to feel safe would that teacher be teach any longer? I think NOT. Why would it be acceptable for the coach of a “student athlete”. Is this the way it is done at all schools? I played 3 sports from grade school through High school and never had that abuse.

  169. Captain Awesome

    Calipari is the Lou Holtz of Basketball. Everywhere he goes, the stink of cheating lingers just behind.

  170. catfanjohn

    163
    what are the email addresses? i`ll put in my two cents.

  171. Captain Awesome

    The last thing we want is to go from Bobby Knight to Eddie Sutton.

  172. tltaworl62

    169. Rod Rhodes would beg to differ.

  173. thetruthurts

    I think most of us want Calipari or Donovan, all the other names people are throwing out are in the chance that they can’t get on of those 2

  174. JATR4

    154. HanOfTheBluegrass Six million big ones, BOZO.

  175. BigBlueFan

    “even threatened to kick him off the team in his last game ever, in South Bend during the NIT.” Who says the coach doesn’t win or lose games? This is a clear example of the coach’s idiocy costing us another game. Jodie was the reason we were coming back in that game and his lack of shooting at the end cost us the win.

  176. tltaworl62

    I will just put it out there. I don’t think the Donovan discussions are over. Well they probably havn’t started, but I would not doubt the question to Foley will be made> Can we talk with him?

  177. Flag City Cat

    Many past and current coaches have done these same things… from Billy D. to Mike K.. You’re kidding yourself if you think head games, physical altercations (using other players) and verbal abuse aren’t part of it…event at the high school level.

    It’s like saying we can when wars by protesting for peace.

    Just keepin it real,

    Flag City

  178. thetruthurts

    173 Calipari’s rep is all speculation, he has never been in any trouble with the NCAA. I understand the hesitation but man he could turn this thing into something bigger than it already used to be.

  179. TJ Taylor

    You are fooling yourselves if you think someone with a reputation similar to Eddie Sutton will ever be allowed to coach at Kentucky.

    Regardless of what he has accomplished and can accomplish. The question of how it was and will be accomplished will be too big a burden on people in control of making this decision.

  180. ex-Martinez Amigo

    I have a felling that this will drag out a little with the $6 million dollar issue.

  181. catfanjohn

    what about bill self? didnt he just sign a new contract with kansas? i was just curious because i havent heard his name mentioned

  182. gcm

    Calipari is not coming. Donovan is not coming. No way in hell Pitino is coming. Ford or Miller top two remaining that will come. Dixon and Matta next after those two. At this point I don’t see us getting a perfect hire. Remember this guys, Pitino didn’t make Kentucky, Kentucky made Pitino.

  183. bakedawg

    i tried to put the addresses in but it made me moderate my msg.. ill try again.. mbarn@uky.edu

  184. I'm Just Sayin

    165 Izzo huh? He’s good and he would win for sure. I don’t think he will come though and I kind of feel like we have been there and done that with Tubby.

  185. gcm

    Self and BCG are best friends. He would set fire to Craft Center right now if he thought he could get away with it…

  186. thetruthurts

    179 noone thinks they don’t happen but you mentioned 2 guys that have the respect of thier players and I don’t think they belittle them. Billy couldn’t execute his own motivation tactics.

  187. TJ Taylor

    Thankfully there are still people that understand the moral price of winning at all cost is too high a price to risk.

    John Calipari will never be allowed to coach here.

  188. bakedawg

    and pres@email.uky.edu I couldnt get this one to go thru, double check it.. either they got it blocked right now somehow, or its not right. but thats what it has on uky.edu…. come on guys, email mitch and todd… IT HAS TO BE JOHN CALIPARI!!!!!!!!

  189. bubbashine

    If it’s gonna take hating Gillispie to get past this episode, do whatever you need to do, folks. These incidents will come out in the next few weeks, some true, probably knowing how things go, most false. There is really no one left with a job to defend the former coach, and you won’t see a university employee defend him. There no one who has a motivation to defend a coach who’s fired.

    What won’t help anyone is holding on to hard feelings and keep turning the knife. I’d like to think we can get past this without dragging this thing through the mud. Let’s move on and find a coach then get behind that coach.

  190. catfanjohn

    i would rather have mark few than to have dixon, matta, miller or ford! he is a great coach and makes the tourney every year.

  191. TJ Taylor

    It’s actually weird to think a positive has come from the disaster Eddie Sutton left. But he is largely responsible for why we won’t make that mistake with John Calipari.

    It’s almost like we should take Eddie…wow that’s a strange and uncomfortable thought.

  192. AppalachianWonder

    #186 – I too have heard Izzo would come if called.

  193. kaiser

    170- where did it say the player locked himself in a room to feel safe?

  194. Captain Awesome

    180, I understand and agree. But there is no speculation where there is no hint of impropriety. Just look at what is going on with UCONN right now. Nobody wants that on the program, regardless of how the investigation ends. Never any speculation about Tubby, or Rick – because they never walked the line. I just don’t think there is smoke time after time without a fire somewhere.

  195. UCANN Lady

    CATS fans,

    The buzz up here in Storrs is that our beloved women’s coach may be headed for the Bluegrass (or at least he’s going to get a “look”). As a life-long Huskies fan, I hope that’s not the case, but, if it is true, you’re getting a good one. Coach Auriemma has been great for UCONN and even better for women’s basketball as a whole. If the rumors are true, I applaud your university for reaching across the gender line in college sports. I have no doubt Coach Auriemma will be a success in the men’s game. I’m a Huskies fan first and foremost, but I’ll be rooting for Auriemma and the CATS next year if your AD decides Coach Geno is the man for the job.

  196. TJ Taylor

    I type slower than I think…

    CORRECTION: It’s almost like we should THANK Eddie…wow that’s a strange and uncomfortable thought.

    …it doesn’t help that I think pretty slow as well.

  197. bubbashine

    Auriemma is a candidate??

  198. BillyGillispiesBeerCan

    Gillispie got what he deserved. He thought he was untouchable at UK and thought he could treat the players like red headed step kids but THANK GOD it backfired on him. I don’t feel one bit sorry for his drunk a$$.

  199. thetruthurts

    192 Few is the same as Billy with being an ambassador. Don’t think he fits. jmo

  200. Captain Awesome

    Not to mention, I remember having to follow Pitino go 14-14 from my dad’s car radio – because we didn’t have a $%# radio in the house and the NCAA banned us from television. I never want to go back to those days.

  201. desolatewest

    Greetings from Iraq! and thanks to Matt for keepin’ me up to date even over here in the desert.
    I gotta tell ya Iraq can be stressful, but as a die hard UK fan this has been keeping me on my toes!
    For my two cents on the next coach, I don’t really want to see Donovan, keep him in Florida, he had his chance to come here. Bring in Izzo, He’s a solid Coach, and hearing about them coming back to win last night reminded me of the Comeback Cats.

  202. gcm

    As I stated on a earlier post, Auriemma is a great women’s coach and women’s recruiter. It would be like getting a gynocologist to do a vasectomy. He probably could, but I would’t want to be the one to find out..

  203. The_Source

    maybe they should consider hiring a woman coach to help the team to process the abuse by BCG

  204. thetruthurts

    TJ you do think slow

  205. catfanjohn

    197
    uk needs a coach! not another experiment!

  206. UK81

    We should be thankful that there is a young and up coming coach the caliber of Ford that would seriously consider taking this job. Forget Donovan and Calipari and embrace the thought of having on of our own playing a style of basketball that the fans will love.

  207. Captain Awesome

    208. I agree. I hope it is Ford.

  208. thetruthurts

    202 I get that but even if he did some shady stuff at Umass. I don’t think he has at Memphis and he wouldn’t need to here. He is the perfect fit.
    204 LOL

  209. hookem

    Damn Matt. You make UK’s players sound like a bunch of pussies. Maybe you guys should cheer for A&M or UTEP, I guess they have tougher players.

  210. bluetexan

    Great article…but, you need to hold Barnfart accountable for the set back in THE Program (Clueless Lee certainly won’t):

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/colleges/topstories/stories/032809dnspotownsend.3e310a9.html

  211. gcm

    The more research I do on Sean Miller, the more I like him. Coached under Matta and Sendek. Is a coaches son. I remember him when he played at Pitt back in the day. He is young and has not jumped from Xavier even though he has been approached. Has had great results.

  212. BillyGillispiesBeerCan

    After all this news makes it out on the national scene regarding how Bill Gillispie treated his plaeyers, I’d say he won’t have a job, at least I hope so. BCG doesn’t deserve to be the coach of any kid and I hope all parents think twice before letting their son play for him if in fact he is rehired some place.

    BCG’s press conference this morning was a joke. He’s simply trying to fool everyone so he can cash in on his so called six million. He’s such a jerk and I hope Coach Cyprien, Cox and Webster find a better home, a home FAR away from that Texas bi-polar alcoholic.

  213. TJ Taylor

    206) but I think well

  214. univky

    #203

    Stay safe!!!

  215. Captain Awesome

    212. Good read. Spot on.

  216. bluetexan

    Rumor here (Dallas) is that BCG will be the next coach @ TxTech…they’re tired of
    Pat Knight pulling the same stunts as his Father (physically going after refs, etc.)

  217. UKmando

    very well written Matt. Now I have some email ammo to cut and paste to my Ohio friends who don’t know what the F they’re talking about. Thanks for the hard work

  218. TJ Taylor

    Tom Izzo = results

    334-176 career record (.710 win rate)

    4 Final Fours (and one win away from another)

    1 National Championship

    7 Elite Eights (counting last night’s win)

    8 Sweet Sixteen’s (not sure this years is included in that number)

    12 NCAA tournament appearances (not sure if this years appearance is included with that number)

  219. BillyGillispiesBeerCan

    All you need to know about Sean Miller:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Miller

  220. The_Source

    I have read the article six times and each time the tears increase as I think about the abuse our poor guys suffered

  221. univky

    # 214 Today’s press CON ference was an infomercial. The media applauding at the end was hilarious. He played them really well.

  222. thetruthurts

    if no JC it should be Miller

  223. TJ Taylor

    Someone came back yesterday with a comment: “but Tom Izzo’s only won one national championship,” and he was serious with the reply.

    This is the complete list of active coaches with more than one national championship;

    Mike Krzyzewski Duke 3
    Billy Donovan Florida 2
    Jim Calhoun Connecticut 2

  224. BillyGillispiesBeerCan

    Which one sounds better?

    -The Sean Miller Show

    -The Billy Donovan Show

    -The Tom Izzo Show

    -The Travis Ford Show

    Regardless of what the new weekly show will be called, I just feel sorry for the one who has to sit there with Rob Bromley.

  225. jsizzle

    The problem with the abuse issues isn’t the acts alone, breaking kids down is part and parcel in his job. Step two is building them back up. Whoever went for help and left crying is a good example, the act of going to the office for advice shows that the kid was broken and ready to learn. Rather than teach (maybe he wasn’t capable but I doubt it) BCG broke the kid down more most likely due to misreading the reason for the meeting.

    Everyone handles pressure and power differently and I think BCG did a poor job on both accounts, good luck to him but I think he may have trouble getting a top tier job for a while if he doesn’t try to get a lid on these stories coming out.

  226. kyhoopzfan

    …..and to think they got booed at Rupp while all of this was goin on…lets think about that for a minute and unite as a fan base and rally around the next coach.

  227. kyhoopzfan

    and our players

  228. BillyGillispiesBeerCan

    I can’t wait until Billy Gillispie’s new team plays anywhere near Lexington because I will deck out in blue and I will show up and boo the absolute shat out of him during his game. I guarantee I’ll make Top 10 Sportscenter.

  229. TJ Taylor

    I accidentally left Rick Pitino from that list.

  230. UKCatFan01ABC

    I can’t wait to see Patterson stand at the free throw line shooting under hand granny free throws the way the new coach teaches.

    Just like Matt assured us Billy D wouldn’t turn down UK, I read his thread with a bit of skepticism- and it sure didn’t make me cry. It’s all the crying business I wonder bout. Oh well. He’s gone anyway. We’ll be playing with girls before long anyway.

  231. Sixth grade girls coach

    203 come back soon and thanks for representing big blue nation.
    go big blue

  232. The_Source

    just imagine the poor little fellows suffering that monster BG and then
    being booed by the fans. those fans should be ashmed of themselves

  233. jsizzle

    I actually like Thad Matta in that 2nd tier of guys better than most. He doesn’t have commits for next year for the guy who was pointing it out but he does have 3 5* in 2010 verbally committed and those kids can come with. He has great relationships at Lawrence North so Dferg would at least listen.

  234. TJ Taylor

    On second thought Rick Pitino only has one…

  235. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy

    BREAKING NEWS

    JEFF LEBO NAMED NEW COACH OF UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY MENS BASKETBALL PROGRAM

  236. Captain Awesome

    220. This is ironic: (stats from wiki)
    Tubby Smith = Not good enough?
    387-145 and his .733 winning percentage
    1 Final Four
    1 National Championship
    4 Elite Eights
    6 Sweet Sixteen’s
    15 NCAA tourney appearances

    I think Izzo and Smith are comparable coaches, and both would represent UK with class, but neither plays the style of basketball that UK fans want.

  237. kaiser

    234- please please tell me you are kidding.

  238. kyfan31

    238 – izzo has been to 4 times as many final 4’s. trust me, tubby would still be here if he had been to 1 or 2 more

  239. bubbashine

    230. Is that horse dead yet?

  240. Goose_is_Golden

    237 LOL

    The only thing that I would really like to see on the resume of our next coach is established success at one school over a period of time. This rules out Ford, Mike Anderson and Capel. We don’t need some coach who’s been rising up quickly through the ranks (aka BCG), but rather someone who has proved they can handle success. I would like to see Miller, Calipari, or Dixon be the next head coach.

  241. BillyGillispiesBeerCan

    Here’s a great link to our next possible coach: Just look at Mark Few and Jamie Dixon’s records!!! WOW

    http://www.kentucky.com/1035

  242. Captain Awesome

    and I forgot:
    the 16-0 SEC year in 2003
    the double ot loss to Izzo that would have been another final 4
    5 SEC regular season crowns
    5 SEC tourney crowns

  243. thetruthurts

    238 nice

  244. JBR

    There is line between being a tough coach and being abusive…I coach, and am hard on my kids, but always in a learning and positive way…not a personally insulting, verbal attack mode. What I read on here is completely uncalled for, and I think we have seen the results. It may work with a select few 2 star underachievers to go over their norm, but you can’t treat big time players like that…and shouldn’t treat anyone like that.

    And, this will not be a popular position, but I think Barnhart is a very competent AD, and think he has done a stand-up job. I know our fan base, as a whole, is not exactly upper management style folks, but Barnhart has taken on one of the toughest jobs in his profession and excelled a vast majority of the time. He has made tough decisions, tough hires, and done things that he knows may not be popular, but for the good of the University. Our athletic program, as a whole, is better. And before all you dopes that start jawing about not caring about that, well, if BCG was winning, and before he started losing, he was a “home run” hire. I heard almost no complaints on choosing him. All coaches have some baggage, and I do not blame Barnhart for not knowing more about personality alone. We UK fans always want to find someone to blame, and he is the scapegoat, along with Lee Todd…both were professional in the press conference and made a very difficult decision that is almost a “no win”, but knew the alternative would be worse in the long run. The Brooks hire showed that we, as fans, should have patience, and let people do their jobs. I supported both Tubby and BCG early in their tenures, but with each at different speeds, saw that they were negative for the program overall with regards to our expectations as UK fans. A good example is Matt’s Jasper story above…I, too, at the time thought he was a wuss for leaving…had I known then what I know now, I would have been on BCG instead of Jasper…just sayin we don’t know squat until those in the know decide we do.

  245. TJ Taylor

    That’s just you Captain Awesome, I was fine with Tubby’s style as well as his results the first few years. It was his mediocre recruiting the last few years and the tail off in performance that few years that bothered me.

    And the guy had class as well. Something that will be demanded of the next coach. Whether that be a lack of class or the perception of a lack of class, it will make no difference in the decision.

  246. 1933 National Champion

    Thanks Matt for the great post. There must be many more instances of abuse that only players and staff know about that may or may not come out over time. The last straw for me was his treatment of Tom Leach. There was simply no excuse for that. That being the chair once occupied by Claude Sullivan and Cawood Ledford. Kudos to the entire KSR staff.

  247. blueball96

    Matt: very well done. Perhaps your best post ever.

  248. fafafohi

    I don’t know how I will look back on Gillispie’s time here in 30 years but for now I look at it like this…..

    BCG’s time @ KY = Gary Cherone’s time in Van Halen.
    (although I don’t think Cherone could have made Eddie sit on the crapper during the drum solo)