UK, Gillispie, and the taxpayer

I’ve been getting lots of emails wanting to know when I’m going to weigh in on the state picking up part of the tab for the University of Kentucky’s legal defense of a lawsuit brought in a Texas Federal court by former coach Billy Gillispie.

My understanding of the matter is this. The Kentucky Government Contract Review committee approved a $100,000 expense for UK to hire a lawyer licensed to practice in Texas. Another legislative department still must approve it.

However, approving the spending of the money and actually appropriating funds for it are two different things.

From what I can see, all this committee did was approve the expense. It’s UK that will be spending the money in its own defense.

This happens quite a bit. It happened, for instance, with other committees and U of L’s football stadium expansion. Even though U of L was funding the expansion itself with private money, the legislature must still approve the expense, because U of L is a public institution.

So while this committee approved the $100,o00 expense, it didn’t cut a check to UK out of taxpayer money.

Where the money will come from at UK — out of athletic association funds or university funds set aside for legal matters — I’m not sure. It certainly is a matter in which the university itself has a great stake, and likely good reason to spend for its defense.

But while UK went to the legislature for approval for spending the money — as it is required to do by law — it didn’t go to the taxpayers for a check to foot the bill.


18 thoughts on “UK, Gillispie, and the taxpayer

  1. Where are the Louisville fans at now? They wanted to whine yesterday about spending taxpayer dollars. The truth is here today and it is silent in here.

  2. Kevin, the same place that you would be if the shoe was on the other foot. Don't act like you have never complained about anything that UofL has received that the Ky taxpayer may have or not paid for.

  3. Onlike spending taxpayer dollars in a substandard quality materials and workmanship on UL new basketball arena with floors collapsing and who knows what else

  4. Taxpayer dollars are being spent on the new arena for UofL. When they start construction on the new UK arena, the deals with IMG sports and ESPN because they play in a real football conference will probably pay for it without any tax dollars.

  5. Newflash for uk fans who cling to the back bumper of the sec football bandwagon: the big east has had every single big east basketball game broadcast on one of the espn stations for several years now. Once again, uk is trying to play catchup to uofl. Everything that comes out of lexington these days is a direct reaction or imitation to what is going on at uofl. The only real difference is that uk is doing it from a football conference and is forced to pretend that it cares about something other than basketball when talking conference smack.Let's just pretend that uk isn't Doormat U. until basketball season rolls around. "S-E-C! S-E-C!"

  6. If this is the truth, why then did the article say "state legislative panel has agreed to spend up to $100,000 to help with the bill". It didn't say that the panel gave it's approval for UK to spend the money.

  7. Kevin – it wasn't just UofL fans upset about this…read Chris What's His Name's blog about this a few days ago. The way it read before Eric shared this information was that taxpayers were paying for the attorney fees. If that didn't piss you off then you are hopeless. I appreciate Eric letting us know more about this…it should make UofL and UK fans feel better.

  8. The downtown arena is very much a publicly-financed facility. The bonds issued for financing will be repaid through arena revenue, largely through a special tax district within six square miles around the arena site.From the arena authority's web site:"The Arena will share the incremental state property and sales taxes generated within that district with the state. The TIF District also includes state income taxes generated from salaries and wages paid to employees within the Arena complex itself. From now until 2010, the Arena project is expected to generate an additional $6.8 million (approximate) in sales, income and state property taxes, with increases annually thereafter. This income will be used solely for debt service on the Arena bonds."Getting much deeper into that makes my head hurt, but feel free to visit and The Courier-Journal archives — — for more background on how the arena is being funded.

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