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The Last Ride of Billy Clyde?
September 10, 2012 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Billy Gillispie, once a rising star in the USA collegiate basketball coaching ranks, is under pressure, scrutiny, and possible termination from his position as Head Coach at Texas Tech University as allegations of mistreatment arise and a current star player vows to leave the program if BCG returns. The coach is currently on sick leave... Meanwhile, some former players and colleagues defend him...

"BCG" is known as an intense coach and private man, cultivating insular attitudes around his teams and programs, clashing with those inside and out of the immediate-team. In addition to his basketball coaching tallies, he has also accrued a recent list of hard times and tragedies, in the past several years losing his mother and his nephew, his third DUI, and a trip to the hospital for elevated blood pressure.
posted by J0 (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
According to the comments (I know, I know) in the "allegations of mistreatment" article, when Gillispie worked at Kentucky and learned he was about to be fired, he went driving around Lexington so he couldn't be found. Bizarre, if true. Could the hospital trip be something similar?
posted by orrnyereg at 5:18 PM on September 10, 2012


Between this and Mike Leach, you have to wonder why anyone would send their kid to Texas Tech.
posted by selfnoise at 5:19 PM on September 10, 2012


Because there's weirdos in Austin, A&M is for farmers (and people who think West Point is for Yankees but whose grandfathers didn't go to the Citadel), and Baylor is still kinda Baptist. Where else you gonna send 'em, Oklahoma?
posted by Etrigan at 5:23 PM on September 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you look at any college coach in a major conference and see the way they exploit their athletes, it's difficult for me to view them as any other than complete asshole or even sociopaths.
posted by Fister Roboto at 5:48 PM on September 10, 2012


Between this and Mike Leach, you have to wonder why anyone would send their kid to Texas Tech.

And Bobby Knight used to also coach there.
posted by gyc at 5:49 PM on September 10, 2012


selfnoise: "Between this and Mike Leach, you have to wonder why anyone would send their kid to Texas Tech."

While it's certainly possible that Leach didn't care about concussions and didn't allow proper treatment for Adam James, that particular scandal was tainted by the involvement of the thoroughly detestable Craig James, who, to me, seems likely to have orchestrated the whole thing as a power play to get his son more playing time and to get his profile higher than just mediocre college football announcer.
posted by Copronymus at 5:56 PM on September 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Remember the five.
posted by JPD at 6:24 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wannah Bail wanted to bail?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:54 PM on September 10, 2012


"Between this and Mike Leach Alberto Gonzales, you have to wonder why anyone would send their kid to Texas Tech."
posted by neuron at 8:35 PM on September 10, 2012


Etrigan: Because there's weirdos in Austin, A&M is for farmers (and people who think West Point is for Yankees but whose grandfathers didn't go to the Citadel), and Baylor is still kinda Baptist. Where else you gonna send 'em, Oklahoma?

Worse: UNT.
posted by fireoyster at 8:54 PM on September 10, 2012


Jesus Christ, what an asshole.
posted by bardic at 9:00 PM on September 10, 2012


bardic: "Jesus Christ, what an asshole."

Maybe, but it sounds to me like the guy is mentally unstable and has serious issues that need to be dealt with before he can be technically classified as an asshole.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:12 PM on September 10, 2012


Matt Jones, editor of Kentucky Sports Radio, the largest Kentucky fan site online, recaps the Billy Gillispie era at Kentucky:

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.

posted by T.D. Strange at 9:18 PM on September 10, 2012


According to the comments (I know, I know) in the "allegations of mistreatment" article, when Gillispie worked at Kentucky and learned he was about to be fired, he went driving around Lexington so he couldn't be found. Bizarre, if true.

This is absolutely true, and he literally ran from local media prior to the final press conference announcing his exit.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:23 PM on September 10, 2012


Worse: UNT.

A Sun Belt school? Jesus Christ, might as well just put up a sign on the goddamn front lawn saying "I Have Failed As A Parent."

(I admit, I left out TCU, but come on, they're not really BCS.)
posted by Etrigan at 7:24 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a interesting story, especially/possibly-mostly because of the central character of Billy Clyde. He is undoubtedly a demanding coach and, by many accounts, a mean guy, but his friends are very loyal and consistent in their praise and his defense.

University of Kansas coach Bill Self tells an anecdote about the first time he met BCG. It was in Las Vegas, at a scouting/recruiting event (watching high schoolers play), and Self, realizing he had no cash on hand (and he needed some, apparently) turned to BCG and asked him to borrow $20. Billy Clyde said no, and the two have been fast friends since. Self, who is well respected and liked by basically everyone, has been one of BCG's biggest promoters (and employer at times).

The whole angle of "this generation is spoiled and doesn't want to work hard" doesn't really *seem* accurate or helpful, but the point about BCG's drastic culture change from the previous coaching staff (lax Pat Knight, who himself was a contrast to the previous coach, his father -the possible-BCG-Inspiration/Legend/Legendary Asshole) General Bob Knight) is interesting.

There is an entirely different angle about collegiate athletics here as well, of course.
posted by J0 at 11:21 AM on September 11, 2012


He is undoubtedly a demanding coach and, by many accounts, a mean guy, but his friends are very loyal and consistent in their praise and his defense.

Bullies have friends too. Plenty of them manage to only be bullies to certain categories of people the vast majority of the time. This isn't one player with a powerful dad complaining about one incident -- this is dozens of players leaving the school and/or signing on to a complaint about consistent mistreatment. Maybe he's only gotten that bad in the last few years, but barring an extensive and pointless conspiracy against him, it certainly looks like he's that bad now.
posted by Etrigan at 2:11 PM on September 11, 2012


Local news here in KY says he had another ambulance out today, and now he's apparently headed to Mayo Clinic for stress and high blood pressure.

I don't follow this kind of thing much, I'm just watching the train wreck when it pops up in the local news.
posted by dilettante at 6:57 PM on September 11, 2012


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