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Gillispie enters rehab facility

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

Billy Gillispie's turbulent two-year run at UK has been nothing compared to the past two weeks: after being arrested on August 27 for drunk driving, the ex-Wildcat coach has decided to check into a Houston rehab center.

Billy Gillispie's turbulent two-year run at UK has been nothing compared to the past two weeks: after being arrested on August 27 for drunk driving, the ex-Wildcat coach has decided to check into a Houston rehab center. 

Gillispie pleaded not guilty following his DUI arrest in Anderson Co. last month.  It marked the third time Gillispie has been charged with an alcohol-related offense.

27 SportsFirst confirmed that Gillispie will enter John Lucas' aftercare program, the same treatment center that Miami Heat center Michael Beasley reportedly will enter.  Ironically, Lucas is the father of Jai Lucas, once the target of an intense recruiting battle, waged by Gillispie and Florida.  Lucas signed with the Gators.

Gillispie's arrest in August wasn't his first brush with the law.  While an assistant coach at Tulsa, Gillispie was charged in 1999 with driving under the influence.  The coach later pleaded guilty to an amended charge of reckless driving.

In 2003, while the head coach at Texas- El Paso, Gillispie was stopped for driving the wrong way down a one-way street.  The charges were later dropped.

While the head coach at UK, there were any number of rumors amid speculation about Gillispie's off-the-court behavior, but never an incident that brought those innuendos to light. 

Gillispie was shown the door because of his brusque coaching style and inability to relate to the UK faithful.  We were told, by UK athletic's director Mitch Barnhart and president Lee Todd, the Graford, Texas native wasn't a good fit. 

Gillispie has since sued the school for the remainder of his contract.  UK has counter-sued.  If this goes to court, more details about Billy Clyde, and possibly his private life, may come to light.

There are some who say Gillispie will never coach at the elite level again, thanks to his alcohol arrests and perceived failure at Kentucky.  These folks argue that Gillispie is entering rehab to save face and pacify any potential suitors.

In any event, love him or loathe him, Gillispie is addressing his demons head on, by admitting there is a problem.  For that, we should be respectful and giving the man the benefit of the doubt.

Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.

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