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Kentucky player verifies Gillispie’s tough practice habits

Sep 8, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

Billy Gillispie AP

By now, you know all about what Billy Gillispie is accused of. Details have come out about all-day practices at Texas Tech, as well as less-than-sound treatment of injured players – the last thing Texas Tech needs in the wake of the Mike Leach/Craig James football kerfuffle.

There are many surprising things about what’s going on, mostly in the vein of “how did you not see this coming?”

You’d think Gillispie, for one, would have reined himself in and avoided controversy. His reputation was in tatters after his time at Kentucky, he spent time out of the coaching game, and he had to know that a third chance wasn’t likely to present itself.

In similar fashion, you’d think that the AD at Tech would be super-duper careful about hiring a guy who had a rep for being rough on players. Again, the aforementioned issue with a concussed player, his famous father, and a potentially dangerous dose of discipline probably should have had everyone walking on eggshells regarding the next big hire.

But Gillispie is accused of being a recidivist, and as often happens when someone breaks the barrier of silence in these matters, more accusers are coming out of the woodwork to pile on.

The Lexington Herald-Leader published a report today based on a conversation with former Kentucky walk-on Dusty Miller, who confirmed that his time under Gillispie had much in common with what Texas Tech players have allegedly gone through.

“I was not surprised by one thing I read,” Mills told the paper. “Nothing was outrageous to me.”

Mills said he was not privy to conversations between Gillispie and other UK players, but confirmed that stars like Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks often appeared to be practicing while injured, and did not seem happy to be doing so.

“Physically, they were playing in pain, and it was hard to watch at times.”

Mills was kicked off the team by Gillispie, but denies that he has an axe to grind. He praised Gillispie’s coaching ability, and thanked him for giving him the opportunity to join the Wildcats as a walk-on. Still, he couldn’t bring himself to exonerate or fully understand Gillispie’s coaching style.
“I think he does really care for his players,” Mills said. “I think he does. He just has a very odd way of showing it. Obviously, something is going on there, and I’m not sure what it is.”

  1. 10of14 - Sep 9, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Wow, I’m starting to think that this has nothing to do with coaching and more to do with “soft kids.” Too coincidental. I’m tired of today’s spoiled rotten athletes and their less than solid work ethic. Go home to Mommy if you can’t take it or better yet, go to a school picked to finish last in their conference…you’ll find plenty of kids like you there!

  2. hollywood26 - Sep 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Easy to tell you never played. We all had “tough” coaches but we also knew those coaches had our well being in mind. This dude did whatever he wanted to try to imprint a tough guy culture, to the detriment of player safety. It wasn’t just players complaining, it was coaches and admins as well.

  3. jlinatl - Sep 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    I think there is too much smoke to not have fire. That being said, it would be nice to get confirmation from Jodie Meeks and/or Patrick Patterson. I would think a journalist would want confirmation from a player that was not kicked off the team.

    • ukfannick - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:39 AM

      I had class with Pat when we were freshmen and I overheard him talking about how big of a prick Gillispie was, feel free not to believe me but it’s the truth

      • ukfannick - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        A.J. and Morakinyo were in there as well, they freaking despised him

  4. ukfannick - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Patterson missed the latter part of his freshmen year, and for what reason? A stress fracture? shocking right?

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