|Billy Gillispie was the hottest name in college coaching five years ago. His fall is one of the most surprising in all of sports in the past decade. (AP)|
This story was always gonna end this way -- especially after a group consisting of former and current Texas Tech players accused Billy Gillispie of mistreatment and rules violations. So now the one-time rising star of the sport is a fallen mess of a man. He's out of a job and in a medical facility. What comes next is anybody's guess.
Seriously, what's next for Billy Clyde?
And I'm not even talking professionally.
I'm talking personally.
I wonder how Gillispie will make it now that he's basically unhirable at the age of 52.
Lots of men with his money -- and, yes, Gillispie still has money even if he's lost a lot in bad investments -- could retire at this age and find peace outside of coaching. They could spend more time with their children or grandchildren. They could spend more time with their wife. They could go into broadcasting and provide expert analysis. They could figure it out and probably turn an undeniable negative into a positive on some level.
But I don't think Gillispie is that guy.
He has no wife.
He has no children.
He doesn't have a personality for television.
The only two things I know he enjoys outside of coaching basketball is betting on horses and swallowing strong drinks. So what we have here is a man in questionable health who will someday emerge from a medical facility with lots of money and lots of time but without any structure to a life that's not going too well. And isn't that a scary combination?
Money + Vices - Structure = Disaster
I've always believed in the power of that formula. It's why I'm never shocked when Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes or any single person without kids in Hollywood ends up on TMZ.com. They have money. They have vices. They lack structure. That's a wicked combination that can easily lead to bad things. I'm actually surprised when it doesn't.
Which brings me back to Billy Gillispie.
He's older than the stars I mentioned and in Texas rather than California, but I'm afraid the same formula applies. Money + Vices - Structure = Disaster. So while I can't sit here and type a bunch of words about how I feel sorry for Gillispie considering I genuinely believe he brought this on himself, what I can tell you is that I worry about what comes next.
Gillispie should emerge from a facility with lots of years to live.
I just hope he figures out a way to spend them.
And I hope it's not the way I think will probably be the way.