Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't Be A Coaching Whore

My how things change in a couple of years. We have a new president, the economy is in tatters, and Billy Gillispie went from being a hot coaching candidate that brought a Texas A&M basketball program back from the dead to being about as popular as those toxic commodities that killed the economy.

The problem is that Gillispie jumped at the big opportunity before even figuring out if he fit in. He was THE most popular coach at Texas A&M, more popular than the football coach which is really saying something there. He could have asked for a raise, two nightly hookers, and a year's supply of Shiner Bock beer and he probably would have gotten it.

Then Kentuc
ky came calling. And Gillispie jumped at the chance to coach at a basketball superpower. Problem is, he didn't take enough time to check out the scene.

Now he's out a job and the Texas A&M faithful are cheering because they felt so betrayed when he jumped ship with them. Call it Aggie poetic justice.

Hopefully Gillispie has learned his painful lesson. Because the people in Kentucky sure haven't.

Fans still seem to expect the school to be able to go anywhere in th
e country and have good head coaches dive away from their programs at Kentucky's velleity.

That's the
only reason I can fathom when I read that Kentucky is going after Florida's Billy Donovan. Again. Maybe Kentucky has a fetish with the name Billy.

The school tried to get him away from Florida two years ago before Gillispie was hired. Apparently the school, like a hot woman, isn't used to being shunned because they're going after him again.

Donovan has already said he isn't interested in the Kentucky job. And I say good for him. He's given Florida back to back titles and has a firm place at the school for years to come.

If he left for Kentucky, not only would he give up all of the good relations he's forged at Gainesville, he'd be leaving Florida to go to a rival SEC school. This is known as pulling a Saban.

Nick Saban grew LSU into a power, then left for the NFL. After two years he left the NFL for SEC rival Alabama. And LSU fans now root against Nick Satan. With a passion. I'm sure Saban doesn't care since he's doing well with Alabama, but his reputation among fans definitely took a hit.

I can't imagine how crazy things would be at Florida if Donovan up and left to go straight to a rival school. Talk about playing with the karma gods.

People deal with a world full of gray every day at our jobs. We want our sports to be cut and dry....good teams and bad teams. That's hard to do in professional sports since a favorite player might get drafted by a team you don't like. But college sports is fandom in it's purest and simplest form. The worst thing that can happen to a fan base is betrayal.

That's why I'm happy Billy Donovan is sticking in Gainesville. Not because I'm a Florida fan, but because I don't want my college sports shaken by coaching musical chairs.

It's hard enough to make a name for yourself as a coach. Once you do, you might as well stick around and reap the benefits because you don't know what you got 'til it's gone.

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