Gillispie cash a wake-up call for UK Athletics

Was it worth it?

$3.25 million to fire someone. It’s hard to find a better severance package.

After two years of character issues, 40 wins and 27 losses, Billy Gillispie was fired on March 27 for not fulfilling the expectations of a UK head coach, according to an Oct. 14 Kernel article.

“There was a lack of understanding that this job is more than games and recruiting,” UK President Lee Todd said in a March 27 news conference. “You have to be an ambassador to this program and university.”

After the end of the season, the UK Athletics Association, namely Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, determined Gillispie had failed in that capacity.

Gillispie’s character was further damaged after he was arrested and charged with drunken driving on Aug. 27.  This was the third time he had been arrested on drunken driving charges.  Did UK not look at these events and question his potential “ambassador” status at the university?

If Gillispie really did enough to get fired, then why does UKAA have to pony up over $3 million to make him leave?  In having to pay him that much money, it seems that UKAA did not have a strong enough case to fire him in the first place.

And what about the money?  UKAA is a separate entity from UK, which means it creates its own revenue and spends its own money. So while it’s not a direct hit to the university, it’s still a problem to the pocketbook.

What will $3.25 million get you?  For starters, new facilities for the athletes can be funded, which in turn gets better athletes, which leads to better teams, which leads to more revenue being generated.

Additionally, UKAA gives a portion of its budget annually to the general scholarship fund for the entire university.  Think about how much more they could have given to the university with $3.25 million laying around in the budget.

When will this come to an end?  Paying coaches outlandish amounts of money to coach and then firing them with a large buyout is not the headache UK needs.  The UK men’s basketball coach may have to be an ambassador for the university, but when will UKAA step up and be a role model for its students?  Irresponsible hirings need to stop because as much as the basketball coach is an ambassador for the university, the coach is also a reflection of the people who hired him.

The key term here is UKAA is self-funded, so it shouldn’t be for anyone to have a problem with anything they do, no one tells you how to spend your money, as long as they are self sufficient, it really isn’t anyone’s business how they spend their money, the scholarship fund is a nice gesture, it’s not a birth right, so appreciate what they give, it certainly more than your giving them.

I’m with my grammar-challenged friend, Ezell28, on this one, April. Sorry! But Billy G. was nothing but a hassle and a headache to the University. The University had previously made the offer of $3 million to settle before Billy got in trouble with his 3rd DUI charge. However, before that charge, the rumor was that it was up to $4 million. So, to act like this is a hit or a big surprise, which is what this article is doing, is just ridiculous. This money doesn’t come out of the taxpayers pocketbooks, so what does it matter? Sure, it may, in the short term, affect their bottom line, but that small dent isn’t going to even come close to comparing the quality of the product that Calipari is going to put on the floor year in and year out. Please don’t comment on this you have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m assuming you are a UofL fan, as well as the writer of this piece. Please stay on the UofL message boards and the “L” Yes Report where they keep coaches with questionable character and players whom he can’t control or keep out of trouble.

UMM ! April give me a break the man is a hard ass who the players did not like. I dont call soumbody putting a player in the bathroom stal a verry good coach or a man who makes a player ride back on the equipmnet van geez call me crazzy but I would not want my son playing for him sorry. As for being a hater whatever coach Cal will be just fine and is worth the money. Billy needs to stay out of coaching he is not at all good at it or needs to be around youngmen for the matter GO BIG BLUE !

He should have got a lot more money. If this is going to hurt UK athletics so much, then why are they paying Calipari 45 million. They are nothing but crooks. Billy needed to get this over with. He is trying to turn his life around. He deserves another chance. All you haters need to leave him alone.