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Billy Gillispie: On the road again, and loving it


OK, we all know that Gillispie works hard.  We know he is recruiting every warm body with great size, a jump shot, a good handle, good hands or a 42" vertical.  We know that.  But did you know this:

Before NCAA rules required coaches to come off the road during the July recruiting period, Billy Gillispie would pack his bags and go.

Not just a little carry-on. He'd pack up every last stitch of clothing in his closet, every personal memento or trinket. All of it.

"I'd get an 11-month lease and pack everything up [for storage], forward my mail to my office and not come back 'til August," Gillispie said. "I loved it."

I can see why.  There is something weirdly enjoyable about going on a month-long adventure like that.  You never know what you are going to run into, who you're going to see.  Of course, like we used to say in the Navy, the worst thing about such "deployments" is coming home and finding your significant other exactly like you left her -- freshly [blank].  Since this is a family site, you'll have to use your imagination to complete the rest of that ribald little saying.

Still, this is an interesting piece, and gives us valuable insight into how coaches handle the stress.  But this was way too much information for me:

"There are days where I walk into a gym and think, 'Do I eat or do I go to the bathroom?'" Beilein said. "Three hours will go by, and I realize I've done neither."

Yeah, well, thanks for that warning, Jim boy, I'm sure most of the guys want to be well upwind of you when you are having this mental debate.  But fortunately, it seems most coaches do find time to answer their nature calls, which is probably a really good thing.

The question of the effects of such escapades on one's health, however, seem to me to be a bit silly.  People manage the rigors of shiftwork without too many negative health effects, and eating well on the road is not substantially harder than eating poorly -- McDonald's as well as almost every other fast-food joint have reluctantly decided to offer a few menu items that don't contain 25g of fat and 850 calories.

The moral of this story appears to be that Skip Prosser died from living this excessive lifestyle.  I have no idea myself, but it seems to me that his constitution was surely more robust than that.  But in today's world, nobody just dies of naturally-occurring high cholesterol or other conditions that contribute to an untimely demise.  Everything has to be blamed on something we could have controlled -- otherwise, how can we expect to live forever?

And apparently, loving what we do just isn't enough.