On second thought…Donovan wants out of Orlando
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Billy Donovan is reportedly trying to get out
of his contract with the Orlando Magic to return to the University of Florida.
And, while the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Magic will grant
Donovan’s wish and let him out of a five-year, $27.5 million dollar deal he
signed last week, the Magic insist they are still hoping the coach lands in
“While Central Florida, the Orlando Magic and Billy were energized with the
announcement of his contract signing on Friday, we know there was a different
feeling in Gainesville and people have been tugging at him since that time,”
the Magic said in a release.
“Billy is conflicted with those emotions and the opportunity he has ahead in
Orlando and in the NBA. We’ve had numerous conversations and a personal visit
in Gainesville with Billy over the last 48 hours, and we have a commitment
from him that the dialogue between us will continue.”
According to numerous sources, Donovan had second thoughts about leaving
Florida for the NBA and spent the weekend trying to get out of his contract.
In Gainesville, Donovan compiled a 261-103 mark over 11 seasons, leading the
Gators to the national championship the last two years and a championship
game appearance in 2000.
Earlier this offseason, he turned down a lucrative offer to become the head
coach at the University of Kentucky, but apparently the opportunity in the NBA
was too much for him to pass up — that was until now.
In 13 years of collegiate coaching, which included two years at Marshall
before joining the Gators, Donovan compiled a 296-123 record.
In Orlando, he would replace Brian Hill, who was fired on May 23 after two
consecutive losing seasons and a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Pistons in
the first round of the playoffs this season.