Last season, thanks to some unnecessary surliness from then-Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie, Jeannine Edwards found herself in the middle of a little sports blog notoriety. Granted, public opinion was on Edwards’ side, but it did become a defining moment for her role as sideline reporter for ESPN.
In case your memory needs refreshing, Edwards asked Gillispie about a poor scoring half for Jodie Meeks — who had recently scored 54 points against the University of Tennessee — and Edwards was greeted with attitude and unsolicited opinion about her reporting style (Gillispie arrogantly said Edwards query was “a bad question”). Thanks to the sports blogosphere, the moment was replayed over and over and over again.
The most celebrated Kentucky basketball coach this side of Adolph Rupp has given us reason to celebrate once again. The coach a lot of people stupidly referred to as “Billy Clyde” or “Coach Clyde” (Seriously, WTF? You come off sounding like a complete tool.) was arrested — still in Kentucky for some reason — for an alleged DUI. Gillispie was pulled over near Frankfort, and after refusing a breathalyzer, he was escorted to the Franklin County Detention Center. This is Gillispie’s third arrest for alcohol-related driving offenses, although, one set of charges was dropped.
Of course, that doesn’t change the Gillispie was caught driving the wrong way down a one-way street four years after his first DUI-related charge, one he plead guilty to, although, those charges were reduced.
Even though his previous employer doesn’t want him around any longer, that doesn’t mean Billy “The Man They Call ‘Clyde’” Gillispie still has a couple of reasons to remain in the Bluegrass, and apparently, it has nothing to do with that multi-million dollar house he owns, either. Oh well, who can fault the man for hanging around when Kentucky’s hot co-eds — especially the one on the left — are still eager to be one of his sycophants?
I wonder if Gillispie and Calipari have exchanged notes on coaching at UK, or perhaps even Kentucky Derby picks?
Perhaps Alan Cutler was trying to run Billy Gillispie out of town. Considering the amount of behind-the-scenes “If this is true, he’s worse than anyone thought” news that’s come out since Gillispie made way for John Calipari, I can understand if that’s what Cutler was ultimately doing. Now we have news about some Nike t-shirts, which support the rumors about Gillispie not liking his star player, Jodie Meeks.
First, a recap of the how their relationship may or may not have ended:
[Gillispie] 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.
Now, on to the shirts in question. After Meeks torched the Volunteers with his 54-point explosion, Nike apparently made some not-for-resale t-shirts to commemorate Meeks’ accomplishment.
Unfortunately, the players didn’t receive them until yesterday. Evidently, they had been sitting in Kentucky’s practice facility, still in the boxes Nike shipped them in. What a grand way to foster healthy coach/player relationships. Good thing Calipari didn’t go the same Team Chemistry school Gillispie attended. Kentucky’s new coach handed the shirts out to the players at a practice session with his blessing:
“I loved that game for a lot of different reasons,” Calipari said in a sly reference to the Memphis-Tennessee rivalry. “But I loved what I saw in how he played and the heart that he showed.”
Too bad the coach on the bench during the Meeks explosion didn’t share the same appreciation.
As ESPN is wont to do, they posted a SportsNation poll asking if Billy Gillispie was given enough time at the University of Kentucky. Regardless of the fact the decision was not just about wins and losses — something I doubt very many considered when they answered — it’s pretty easy to see Kentucky basketball fans don’t the view the world with the same eyes as others do, especially when college basketball is involved.
“In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible,” Donovan said in a statement. “I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here.”
So, who’s next for Kentucky? ESPN scribe Pat Forde is on record as saying he would bet his paycheck Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford will be next up to bat for the Big Blue, while others say John Calipari is of interest as well.
All those rumblings about Billy Gillispie’s tenure at the University of Kentucky came true today as Gillispie was let go — apparently, it wasn’t mutual — after two rocky years in the Commonwealth. While some will want to focus on the apparent inability to satisfy the Kentucky fanbase, the decision, provided you read between the lines, came down to more than just wins and losses. A quote from Orestes Meeks, father of Jodie Meeks, reveals not everything was peaches and cream in the Wildcats locker room:
“You don’t want to throw gasoline on the flames, but, clearly, a lot of things happened behind the scenes that made it difficult for the kids to play basketball and focus on winning,” the elder Meeks said.
If you want to have some real fun, there are over 20000 posters at the Catspause forums discussing this very subject. The conversation runs the gamut from “Blame Tubby” to “Thank God he’s gone.” Good times for all involved.
Concerning the Gillispie decision, the university has scheduled a press conference in about 30 minutes.
In all likelihood, this issue will be resolved tomorrow, one way or another — but if you are like me and like reading all the speculative posts and forum threads, this latest one might just reveal what apparently so many already know. What we have is an apparent email response from Billy Gillispie that a number of Kentucky fans say they’ve received. Like I said, if the email is legit, the content reveals a coach in process of moving on: