Billy Gillispie reportedly mistreated players, broke practice rules
Word of Gillispie’s reported mistreatment emerged after the players met with compliance officers and later athletic director Kirby Hocutt, ESPN reported.
Six players have transferred from last season’s squad that went 8-23 and 1-17 in conference. Two of those players told CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman that Gillispie’s practices routinely lasted more than four hours, which is more than the NCAA allows. Players described one particular practice last November that they say lasted around 10 hours.
“We practiced two hours, then he told us to leave and go shave because he didn’t like the way we looked,” Kevin Wagner, who transferred to McClellan Junior College, told CBS Sports. “Then we came back, practiced two more hours before he told us to get a haircut. Then we came back and did about four more before he kicked us out.”
Gillispie’s mistreatment and rule-breaking reportedly even existed for injured players.
“If you were hurt, he told you that you had to stay in the training room all day — from 6 or 7 in the morning until 10 at night,” Wagner told CBS. “Stay in there and get treatment over and over and over. We couldn’t leave. My mom had to come and bring me food.”
Two former players say Gillispie would even have the team practice hard before games and that players were often worn out by the time the contests started. Another player had an ethical issue with Gillispie, who he says pulled a job offer to former Indiana star Tom Coverdale, who was an assistant at a junior college at the time.
Gillispie reportedly was hospitalized on Friday morning for undisclosed reasons. He is no stranger to scrutiny. Once considered a coaching prodigy after his impressive work at UTEP and Texas A&M, Gillispie was hired by Kentucky in 2007. He was fired after two disappointing seasons and then took two years off before being hired by Texas Tech. Gillispie has also been arrested for DUI three times since 1999.