Taking its cues from a developing nation on the cusp of a coup, Kentucky has descended into chaos over whether Billy Gillispie is still in control, in the presidential palace under house arrest or already on a plane to Paris.
Things really got started when WHAS reported that Gillispie was gone (video). (HT: A Sea of Blue) In an online poll, the station even threw out some helpful suggestions for successors. Like Coach K. So put him on the short list. And then laugh hysterically.
University non-denial denial? Check.
UK men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie has not been fired. There have been no meetings between Gillispie and UK officials today and there is no scheduled press conference for tomorrow.
Notice the conspicuous lack of future tense. And use of words like "scheduled." The Lexington Herald-Leader dodges this confusion by saying a press conference is "expected," and drops a fascinating tidbit in its Gillispie story.
After the Notre Dame game, Gillispie asked that the team's locker room be cleared of everyone except players. When reporters later entered, no one would say whether the coach had revealed his job status.
UK is expected to hold a news conference Friday to announce its plans for the coaching position. [Emphasis C&F's]
The Gainesville Sun, meanwhile, doubles down on the speculation, citing "rumblings" that Gillispie is out, Florida head coach Billy Donovan is in and VCU head coach Anthony Grant -- he of the tour of Tuscaloosa -- is the new guy at Florida. (HT: Rap Sheet)
Got all that?
This is, of course, the reason that Alabama would prefer to hear from Grant today. For their part, Alligator Army is skeptical of any talk of Donovan heading for bluer pastures.
The thing is Donovan has already turned his back on a NBA job two hours from his family. Why would he leave Gainesville for Lexington?
Allergic to beaches? (To the inevitable criticisms that I don't know Florida geography: Yes, I'm aware Gainesville isn't on the beach. I'm also aware it ain't far.)
Vanderbilt Sports Line is less kind to Kentucky fans. The exact words: "Stop being delusional."
Forde, meanwhile, ditches all pretense of knowing the outcome and instead uses informed speculation (which might be as good as anything else right now) to arrive at the same conclusion: Gillispie's done.
C&F would lean in the same direction as Forde here. Once the athletics department is having to deny you've been fired without saying you're safe, there's usually no turning back.
Not everyone is against you, Billy. Alabama fans and Georgia fans are both pulling for you.