This report from CBSSports.com about the recently hospitalized Red Raiders men's basketball coach is none too flattering, and could very well be the end to his high major Division I coaching career. Click here for the story.
It would be different if his track record at Kentucky was just a little better, and the Red Raiders had been better than 8-23 in his first season in Lubbock. To be fair, the roster left by Pat Knight was awful and this was not going to be some quick-fix project.
In light of this report that details abuse of NCAA practice guidelines, belittling behavior towards his staff and players, promising coaches jobs only to back out and then keeping players in limbo about their scholarship may force his superiors to can him.
Firing him is an easy move.
Keeping him is the better one.
Why? Because he can win and that's what this is about.
Take these allegations, which Gillispie has yet to address because he is in the hospital in Lubbock, one by one:
* Keeping players in limbo in regards to their scholarship. Happens all the time, everywhere. Should it? No. Does it? Yes. Coaches, especially ones who are trying to rebuild a roster, continually let one guy dangle in hopes of landing a better player to apply that scholarship. So the lesser players sits as his coach tries to find his replacement.
* Belittling staff. No excuse. Suspend him. Fine him. These allegations, if true, are Bob Knight bullying tactics that endear no one. They are immature and silly. It's one thing if you want to push your players to be better and resort to old school coaching/motivational tactics, but it's quite another to embarrass staffers who didn't sign on for that.
* Telling coaches you want to hire them only to do a bait and switch. It's bush league, but this is fairly standard. Coaches often times will want to hire Coach A because he may be able to bring in this player or that player. If he can't, or Coach B can bring along another player, you cut Coach A loose.
* Practicing beyond the NCAA limits. It's in NCAA book, so you can't do it. Fine him. Suspend him.
* Practicing players who are hurt. This is 2012, not 1952. You can't do that. Coaches are constantly trying to make their players tougher by pushing them through pain, but if a guy is hurt what are you doing? This is not the Army. Fine him. Suspend him. But let's not kid ourselves, this happens other places in men's and women's college sports.
This story isn't pretty and given Billy Clyde's record at Kentucky he needed to walk the line much better than this. You can't be fired from Kentucky, have a DUI, get a second chance, go 8-23, and then have a story like this break and expect to be anything other than fired.
Texas Tech knew it wasn't hiring a Cub Scout leader when Billy Clyde came to West Texas. This guy has an edge. He can also win in difficult places.
Given his record at UTEP and Texas A&M, and Texas Tech's desire to win, it would be better off fine and suspend Billy Clyde rather than to fire him.
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