Wednesday , Jun , 06 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Magic allow Donovan out of contract

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic released a statement on
Wednesday night, confirming that they will allow Billy Donovan to back out of
the five-year contract he signed so he can return to the University of
Florida.

“As our signing of Billy Donovan showed, we are committed to winning a
championship,” the statement said. “We have the legal right to hold Billy to
the contract he signed, but with him having a change of heart about leaving
college basketball, we want him at the University of Florida. We have granted
him permission to break his commitment and return to the Gators.”

Donovan signed a lucrative five-year deal to coach the Magic on Friday, but
almost immediately regretted the decision and spent the next several days
trying to get out of his contract.

According to reports, the Magic wanted to ensure that Donovan would not coach
another NBA team for the next five years before breaking the 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 an offer to become the head
coach at the University of Kentucky.

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 have replaced 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.

The Magic have now reportedly turned to Stan Van Gundy in an effort for find a
new coach.

But, the Miami Heat are threatening to hold up the hiring of Van Gundy, who
has one year left on his contract as a consultant with the club, by asking for
compensation.

ORL