OT - Billy Gillespie investigated for player mistreatment

Submitted by JeepinBen on September 5th, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Texas Tech Hoops Coach.


 If the article is true, it's bad. I didn't realize the staff turnover he's had, or the players quitting the team. The 20 hour practice rule comes up but this doesn't read as a Freep hit job - it's not 2 freshmen who don't know the rules. There are coaches and administrators who have quit and are talking. It'll be interesting to see what the NCAA does about this, since there has been zero rhyme or reason to any of their recent verdicts/punishments.



September 5th, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

Just because Craig James is a douchebag (and hasn't ever denied allegations that he killed five hookers while a student at SMU) doesn't give Mike Leach a pass.  Head injuries are the biggest threat to life and health football players and indeed to the very existance of the game of football.  No one really knows the details of the incident, but if he humiliated and punished a kid for not practicing with a concussion, it's not only grounds for his firing, but for his never being let back into college football again.


September 5th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

Coaches have an opportunity to do great things, but here is a clear example of coaching abuse. I guess I can understand coaches expecting a lot of players, and pushing them through pain. But when kids get injured, and the coach makes it worse, when clear guidelines are set, and they are clearly violated, when someone in a position of authority uses it to bully and belittle those under that authority, something is dreadfully wrong.

I have two questions. First, I would hope there was some way to punish Gillespie beyond merely firing him. Was anything he did classified as "criminal?" Second, I'd like to see that the AD or others who were aware of this abuse are held responsible for allowing it to continue. While there is very little direct analogy to the horrendous situation at Penn State, there is one common thread. Namely, university and athletic administrators need to be aware of what is going on, and need to hold coaches responsible. If this doesn't happen, the same administrators are guilty of neglect or complicit in the abuse, and should also be released or punished.


September 5th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

Billy G is a tough coach on his players, but he's a damn good coach. The people I've talked to who were in the A&M program when BG all said he ran them hard, cursed a lot, but made them great players. They have a lot of respect for him.

Maybe if the Tech players don't want to finish last in the conference again, they shouldn't complain about hard practices.


September 5th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

Nothing wrong with working them hard and swearing, but the bullying is not right. Would you want your son treated like he was a piece of meat? There's a reason all those people left, and it's not because of hard practices.

He sounds like a total douche bag that I would like to fight.


September 5th, 2012 at 12:48 PM ^

He's had problems with alcohol and other things in his personal life dating back to his days as an assistant at Illinois under Bill Self. Shame he had to squander his second chance


September 5th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

There was a pretty big story here that when Josh Harrelson was playing bad, sophomore season, that at halftime during a game he made him sit in a bathroom stall until the game was over and than made him ride back to Lexington in the equipment bus. Not as major as what the report is showing but still can see the douchery in the man.

The guy in my fantasy league is the arresting officer of Billy G in lawerenceburg KY for DUI. The one that pretty much got him fired from UK.


September 5th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

Well i for one am SURE that everything written here is true and factual.  After all, when have we ever witnessed the MSM embelishing a story about coaching misconduct to further their personal agendas?


September 5th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

Because of the MSM's tabloid tendencies, and the railroad job done on Mike Leach, I was immediately suspiscious when this story broke.  However, there are a lot more people jumping on this bandwagon than one spoiled wannabe player, a helicopter dad with an ESPN broadcasting job, and a public relations firm doing a smear campaign.  

From everything I've read, this doesn't look like one POS kid and his dad trying to bring down the coach because the kid thinks he should be awarded a starting position.  This looks a lot more like a coach who has no business being in a leadership position.

I hope for the same thing I usually do: that whatever the truth is, it comes out.


September 5th, 2012 at 2:25 PM ^

I'm waiting to hear the entire story before I make up my mind. If this is all true, I find it hard to believe that none of it made it's way to the administration. If anyone within the administration heard whispers, and did nothing, more people need to be replaced than just a coach.


September 5th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

I wonder why he didnt make them sit in the sweat box, I mean equipment shed.  I hear that cures injurys at Texas Tech.  Maybe that is just for concusions. The physical therapy for stress fractures must be running stairs.


September 5th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

"Former Indiana guard Tom Coverdale quit his job at Tyler Junior College after being promised an assistant coaching spot under Gillispie. Just days before he was set to arrive, Gillispie told Coverdale the job was actually an assistant strength position that paid about half as much as the initial spot." - from the article

I am not an employment attorney, but I wonder if Cloverdale possibly could have made a case for "detrimental reliance", especially if there was some manner of agreement already in place for the position. Actually, a few of the "hires" seem like they could argue something along these lines. It would be interesting to know what the process was, because I would imagine that if Gillespie purposefully misled people in the hiring process, there are perhaps grounds for civil claims against the department. What say the MGoLawyers here?

 Regardless, such behavior shows a lack of integrity and a lack of concern for the lives of others, the latter evidenced in particular by his treatment of injured players, and that's not exactly someone who should be trusted with coaching duties.


September 6th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

he won't be filing a lawsuit over this.

No matter how heinous the conduct, the coaching fraternity protects its own. Remember Krzyzewski's comment on Dave Bliss? He condemned the assistant who busted him. And it's not just Krzyzewski, it's pretty much universal. That assistant will never coach again; Bliss has a job and is still getting schools put on probation and tossed out of their state athletic associations.


September 5th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

if a coach really can bully trainers that way. I'm not saying it doesn't go on everywhere (that had to be the case with Brian Kelly in 2010, right?), and I've seen it happen myself, but that should be one area where there is a very clear line.

I'd honestly be happier if the medical staffs used for sports were employed by the medical school or nursing school or kinesiology or the central administration. I can't imagine coaches having a lot of success "overruling" trainers if their boss was some dean in the med school, since the priorities of that guy are a whole lot different than the coaches.

Yes, I'm the same guy who says the gameday medical staffs should be working for the conference and not the schools, so take that opinion however you want to take it.

State Street

September 5th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

That last option is actually pretty intriguing.  Especially for head injuries.  Have a conference sanctioned Neurologist of some sort that can be responsible for preventing potentially concussed kids from coming back in the game.  However that would just bring more attention to the fact that head injuries happen in the sport and thus will never happen.


September 5th, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

And it would be simple enough to implement. Just take the average amount of money the member schools spend on training staffs, have each school kick that to the home office, and have the Big Ten hire twelve "crews". Give them the ability to call a potentially concussed player out of a game (or not allow a player otherwise hurt to go back in the game) and have their sole boss be a doctor with an office down by Delaney's. Rotate the crews around each weekend and there you go.

You could even do a mini version of this and see if you can get two guys on the sidelines each week with concussion expertise and leave the rest of the staff alone.

I agree it's probably not likely to happen, but I think it would make the game safer and would get rid of some of the "what-ifs" when you saw a guy like Dayne Crist out there in 2010. If he had taken another shot to the head, there could have been some really really serious repercussions, and anything that minimizes the risk for Crist and for a guy like Martin having to look in the mirror the next day (if something horrific had happend as a result of Kelly insisting he play) is a good idea by me.


September 5th, 2012 at 11:21 PM ^

The trainers run the same workouts as the players. It's equitable although not competitive against the same job in other colleges. The free market--and mass attrition--will work out this anomaly in time.

As for the conference employing the medical staffs and not the schools, would that allow Michigan to keep their full-time neurologist on staff? It seems like it's more trouble than it's worth to put them under the wing of Delaney. However, having them employed by the SoMedicine or SoKinesiology is reasonable.


September 5th, 2012 at 11:46 PM ^

Going to a mandated medical school requirement would be the easiest, and would allow individual schools to keep staff in place. Evolution of ideas at work.

As for the student trainers, the problem is more with the guys with actual authority. By that I mean the ones who clear players to play in a given week, do medical testing, give out meds, ect. I'm not familiar with the whole setup, but who the assistants are matter a lot less than the guys making actual medical decisions and who they are accountable to come Sunday.


September 6th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

But at least at that point you've done all you can do to seperate "health" versus "winning" (yes, I realize it's not usually that simple). It also might help just by virtue of adding a layer of bureaucracy; this seems like a situation where that might be the case.

True Blue Grit

September 5th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

I'd say Gillespie needs some serious psychological help (and possibly medical help too).  At a minimum you'd think his days at Texas Tech will be short-lived.  It's actually pretty amazing the one player who got the stress fractures didn't sue the school.