Embattled Texas Tech men’s basketball head coach Billy Gillispie has yet to be fired by the university as the school’s athletic department is still hoping to arrange a meeting. Since some of Gillespie’s confidants tell ESPN they’ve not heard from the coach in over 10 days, it would seem he’s taking the George Costanza route to avoid termination. With this turmoil in mind, some sort of journalism award is due to the Lubbock Avalanch-Journal’s Nick Kosmider, who managed to track down a person willing to go on the record with something nice to say about Gillispie. Just because it’s the father of player who left the program is no reason not to take it seriously — I mean, who’d have greater reason to complain?
Jerry Nash, the father of former Texas Tech forward Jaron Nash, said he believes Gillispie has been painted in an unfair light as reports that he allegedly mistreated players and exceeded NCAA limits on practice time have surfaced over the last two weeks.
“Billy Gillispie is a friend of mine,” Jerry Nash told the Avalanche-Journal in a telephone interview. “I consider him a great coach, a great person and a great man.”
Jaron Nash heeded his father’s wishes and asked for his scholarship release following last season. Jerry Nash said he appreciates the way Gillispie handled the situation, and it didn’t stop at allowing his son’s release, he said.
Shortly after Nash was granted that release, Gillispie helped enter the Tech team into an awareness walk for multiple sclerosis around Jones AT&T Stadium as a tribute to Jerry Nash, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1999, he said.
“When Ron-Ron showed me video of that,” Jerry Nash said, “it brought tears to my eyes.”