Billy Gillispie

Billy Gillispie is no longer the head coach at Texas Tech


The official party line is that Billy Gillispie has submitted his letter of resignation to Kirby Hocutt, the Texas Tech athletic director, due to health reasons. Associate head coach Chris Walker will handle the “day-to-day operations” of the team until a decision on an interim head coach for the 2012-2013 has been made.

“Billy has decided to focus on his health and we wish him a full recovery,” Hocutt said. “We are proud of the young men that he has brought to this campus. Billy’s decision allows him to concentrate on his well-being and allows us to turn our attention to preparations for the upcoming season.”

Frankly, his health problems weren’t the issue here and we all know it.

The issue was that there was a story published by that detailing all of the problems surrounding his tenure with the Red Raiders. Players transferring en masse. People around the program jumping ship. Lies about job opportunities. Simply put: Billy Gillispie acted like jackwagon during his time in Lubbock, and it came back to bite him in the behind.

Does that mean that Gillispie is a bad person? If you listen to Bill Self, it doesn’t. We all have issues in our personal life, and it seems like Gillispie’s — at least at this point — have gotten the best of him. I’ll be honest: I feel for the man. He’s borderline-unhireable in his chosen profession. He’s lost his mother and his nephew in the last 20 months and he also lost a reported $2.3 million in a Ponzi Scheme. That’s enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure.

But it also doesn’t excuse his behavior at Texas Tech, or any of his previous coaching stops. He did what he did, he treated people the way he treated people, and he has to live with the repercussions. What’s left, however, is a man with his demons (Gillispie’s fondness for the bottle and his issues with drinking and driving are well-documented), plenty of time on his hands and a career that is in shambles. He has no wife to answer to and no children to care for.

It’s certainly not pleasant to watch a man hit rock bottom in his life, especially when you consider that many believed getting run out of Kentucky and the subsequent DUI a couple months later was rock bottom for Gillispie.

Texas Tech was his second — and final — chance.

And he blew it.

Hopefully, Gillispie’s able to find peace in his life. He needs to.

It just won’t be on a college sideline.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)