Before we go any further, there's a decent chance there's nothing to this beyond the normal "he's out there, so we're considering him" diligence-type speculation that happens any time a school is looking for a coach. But if Chicago radio host Mike North has his facts straight, DePaul is taking a gander at Billy Gillispie for their vacant head coach position:
North says his sources in Chicago are hearing Gillispie, who was fired as head coach at the University of Kentucky a year ago, as a likely candidate for DePaul. [...] But North points out other coaches have had similar legal problems, and more importantly, "DePaul can get this guy dirt cheap… because he's looking to get back into the game."
OK then. For one, that's probably true -- DePaul is the sort of job Billy Gillispie might be prone to take, since he's very obviously looking to get back into coaching after his post-Kentucky hiatus. It's a tough sell for a coach with a stable situation already. Why leave your gig to go coach a program with dire facilities in an unforgiving Big East? But it's the type of place -- major conference, nowhere to go but up, a few obvious recruiting inroads -- that could make someone like Gillispie, who is probably looking to catapult himself back into the elite as soon as possible, swoon.
As for Gillispie's legal problems? Well, it was just two days ago that Gillispie delivered a thoroughly convincing mea culpa. Some of that might be political, but it seems genuine enough to set a skittish athletic director at ease. Taking Gillispie will be a risk for any program, but what does DePaul have to lose? Worst case scenario (except for, like, NCAA sanctions) is Gillispie doesn't win, flames out, and DePaul is right back where it started. Best case is Gillispie thrives and revives a long-dormant DePaul program that could, with a few tweaks, regain some of its former stature. At the very least, Gillispie is energetic, and more than anything DePaul basketball desperately needs energy.
Is it a match made in heaven? Not quite. But for now, it's an interesting thought.