We’re hearing out of Lexington today that Billy Gillispie, seven months after his hiring at Kentucky, still hasn’t signed a formal contract. He’s operating as head coach under his offer letter from AD Mitch Barnhart, which essentially described the terms and conditions of his compensation, but didn’t touch on the many legal ambiguities that arise from reliance on such things. (memo to MB: next time you send an offer letter out for a contract worth eight figures, you might want to edit it so the word “contact” isn’t used in place of “contract” at least twice that we noticed. Just sayin’.)
Our first thought other than realizing we’re in the wrong business ($2.3M base) was what’s the holdup? The Lexington Herald-Leader points out that the offer letter doesn’t have a provision explaining what “termination for cause” means, which could theoretically include prohibitions on anything from shagging coeds Larry Eustachy-style to deweys (of which Billy G. already knows a little something). Or the problem could have to do with the size of the buyout clause should Gillispie decide to walk away at any point in any of the first four years.
Taking a cue from John Beilein, who ended up settling his dispute over a buyout with West Virginia for $1.5M when he skedaddled for Michigan, perhaps Gillispie would be best served to not sign that contract after all. Especially in light of UK’s worst loss in nearly twenty seasons against Gardner-Webb last week.