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Offseason in Kentucky

Haven't we heard this before, this seemingly never-ending call for our coach?  First the yearly liaison of one Rick Pitino, then the bi-annual NBA feelup of Tubby Smith.  Now, not even a year on the job, Billy Gillispie finds himself, through no fault of his own, the potential apple of a billionaires eye.  Has any major university's fan base had to endure as much uncertainty as we UK fans seem to live with?

Personally, I think Gillispie is much too happy at UK to leave for ANY other job.  I do think early on in his time here he may have been uncomfortable, and a bit culture shocked at the magnitude of the demands of the job.  Whether it be off-court responsibilities, the constant scrutiny, or the feeling that 2 million Kentuckians could turn on him at the drop of a dime, something had him feeling out of sorts early in his tenure.  Thankfully, that pathogen seems to have been nuked out of his brain.

As far as OSU and my main man, billionaire T. Boone Pickens, they are being very tight lipped about the search and the search's targets.  Considering the pressure AD Mike Holder must be feeling from his bosom bud "Boss Boone", he is doing an excellent job of keeping the search leak free.  Of course, when it's a two man operation, controlling what hits the papers is a much easier task.

I feel, at this point in the search Kentucky fans have no substantial reason to worry about the impending departure of Gillispie for still waters (pun intended).  There is simply no credible evidence out there that Holder and Pickens are even remotely interested in Clyde. Of course, they would want it that way, wouldn't they (insert head scratch).

Paranoia, it's not just for Hoyas.  We Kentucky fans have, in my view, every right to be a bit paranoid.  After all, we've lost our last two coaches to other jobs.  As I noted earlier in my post, Pitino made us sweat nearly every year after '93.  Tubby had the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Virginia Cavaliers chasing his hide from Pikeville to Paducah.  We've been conditioned to be paranoid, WE ARE A PRODUCT OF OUR ENVIRONMENT!   We have a reflexive response any time a new suitor, real or imagined, comes-a-callin'.  It goes like this, "they're crazy", "he ain't leavin'", "who do they think they are?", "he ain't leavin'", "they're not in Kentucky's league", "he ain't leavin'", and so forth and so on.

But who can blame us? I suppose the best way to deal intellectually with the rumors is to wipe them away like so much mustard from our lips.  Give no credence until the rumors become more than rumors.  That's surely a recipe for a happy and healthy summer ... unless of course, if he takes the j ...

The bottom line, we're a part of one of the two most influential, powerful, and passionate fan bases in collegiate athletics, and there isn't a gosh darn thing we can do to stop our coach from leaving.  We could pay him more money, but someone would come along with even more. &nbspWe already provide the absolute best practice facility in college basketball, as well as an arena filled with 23,000+ fans.  The list of the advantages of coaching at UK is long, and unmatched.  We can do nothing else to ensure our coach is happy.  But we are, at this point, powerless.  We've already done our job, it's up to Clyde to do his.

March on we will, whether Gillispie is here one more day, one more month, or twenty more years. Those Kentuckians who came before us invented college basketball.  We are here forever, and with Coach Whoever, and Gillispie is very aware of that fact.  Which is why he is in his element, why he's right at home.  He knows to win here is unlike winning anywhere else.  If he stays at UK until retirement, that will be why.

Thanks for reading, and Go 'Cats!