Time for UK to put Gillispie in the past

It has been about four months since Billy Gillispie was relieved of his duties as the coach of the University of Kentucky's basketball program. It is well past time for UK to reach a termination agreement and put the Gillispie era in the past.

While UK's AD Mitch Barnhart and President Lee Todd were quick to admit that there was a mistake made in hiring former Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie, they have been way too slow in putting the Gillispie era in the past.

I see Kentucky's case as having three very weak links that are going to make it very difficult for them create a strong enough case in court for them to prevail, and think the best thing Barnhart and Todd can do at this point is negotiate as good a deal as possible for the University. In cases like this the old bad publicity is better than no publicity slant doesn't hold true. Bad publicity could become a distraction and as long as the shadow of Gillispie hangs over the program there will be no closure.

One of the three major problems I see is that Barnhart and Todd have the unenviable task of trying to do a one-eighty on Gillispie's contract status; and it places them behind the eight ball in trying to wiggle out of the terms of the Gillispie deal. Barnhart's public comments about the Memorandum of Understanding serving as the contract

Second, not only did Barnhart go on record and say that the Memorandum of Understanding would serve as a contract for Gillispie, UK also has a problem with having broken off discussions with Gillispie for months during the process, before Gillispie's attorney approached UK about renewing the negotiations. It is difficult to argue that the other party did not negotiate in good faith when the University's legal beagles broke off negotiations at any point during the two-years of Gillispie's UK tenure.

Third, proving that Gillispie was not employed by the UKAA is a near impossibility. One of the original reasons for the formation of the UKAA was to allow coaches to be hired and paid without the constraint of some state guidelines. In addition less than a week after it was announced Gillispie was not being retained the UKAA approved John Calipari as the next coach at UK.

In the 80's the hit song, "The Gambler," by Kenny Rogers, said, "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." It's time to "fold 'em" in Gillispie v. UKAA, cut the losses and move on. If Barnhart and Todd can admit a mistake was made, then they also need to realize with that admission they have to prepare to pay the piper.

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