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View Full Version : Sources: Donovan wants out of Magic deal



Y2J
06-03-2007, 11:21 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/6883162

Jeff Goodman (http://msn.foxsports.com/writer/archive?authorId=288) / FOXSports.com
<!-- Meta Tag For Search --><!-- meta name="author" content="Jeff Goodman"--><!-- meta name="source" content="FS"--><!-- meta name="eventId" content=""--><!-- meta name="contentTypeCode" content="1"--><!-- meta name="editorContentCode" content="1"--><!-- meta name="blurb" content="Billy Donovan is trying to get out of his contract with the Orlando Magic and return to Florida, sources told Jeff Goodman."--><!-- meta name="modDate" content="June 4, 2007 03:09:47 GMT"--> Posted: 5 minutes ago

Billy Donovan is having second thoughts.
According to two sources close to the situation, the former Florida coach, who accepted the Orlando Magic job on Friday, is attempting to return to Gainesville.<table class="emailBoothFields" style="border: 1px solid rgb(179, 179, 179); background-color: rgb(238, 238, 238);" align="right" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" width="210"> <tbody><tr> <td> More coverage

Grant has no offer (http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/6876506)
Rosenberg: He could succeed (http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/6874008)
Goodman: NBA is right call (http://msn.foxsports.com/cbk/story/6875062)
Video: Donovan joins Magic (javascript:msnvDwd('33', 'b5b1b1f1-6931-4f55-a9e2-58bc8bab1843', 'us', '', 'm1501', 'foxsports', _mlc);)
Boards: Talk to Magic fans (http://community.foxsports.com/boards/forum.aspx?forum_id=88)

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Donovan agreed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Magic late last week, but has approached both sides about getting out of the deal.
According to one source, Donovan was forced to make a rash decision by the Magic management and he regretted it shortly after agreeing to the contract.
Speculation centered on VCU coach and former Gators assistant Anthony Grant replacing Donovan quickly. In fact, Grant was slated to meet with Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley on Saturday morning.
However, shortly after landing in Virginia, Foley had to return due to an emergency. One source confirmed that the emergency was that Donovan contacted Foley about returning.
Grant addressed the situation in a statement released by VCU.
"Due to the amount of media speculation regarding my involvement with the University of Florida coaching vacancy, I felt it necessary to address the situation," Grant said in the statement. "I have been contacted by the University of Florida regarding the coaching vacancy.
"I have not had any in-person contact with any Florida representative, nor have I been offered the job," Grant continued. "At this point, I will have no further comment on the situation. All my focus is on my responsibilities at VCU."
Grant, 41, is considered the clear-cut favorite to take the place of Donovan. Grant coached alongside Donovan for a decade at Florida and two seasons at Marshall and led VCU to the second round of the NCAA tournament this past season after a first-round upset of Duke.
Donovan, 42, led the Gators to consecutive national titles over the past two seasons and was slated to sign a seven-year deal worth approximately $3.5 million annually. The deal was still in the process of being approved when he accepted the deal with the Magic.
Donovan was introduced by the Orlando Magic at a news conference on Friday.
Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. He can be reached at GoodmanonFOX@aol.com.

Young
06-03-2007, 11:24 PM
Lol.

I hope he can get out of his deal so he doesn't mess up his career by going to the NBA.

Evan_The_Dude
06-03-2007, 11:32 PM
Damn. That's worse than getting turned down by Stan Van Gundy...

obnoxiousmodesty
06-03-2007, 11:32 PM
Well there is precedence this very year within the college ranks. A day after being introduced as the new Arkansas head coach, Dana Altman changed his mind and was able to return to Creighton. Still, this type of situation is highly irregular.

However, if Donovan is adamant about leaving Orlando, then I don't think the Magic have any choice but to let him go. I can't imagine Florida rebuffing a return by Donovan.

Smashed_Potato
06-03-2007, 11:37 PM
I really really feel sorry for the Magic fans and there Organization if this is true.

Frank Slade
06-03-2007, 11:47 PM
Foley had to return due to an emergency. One source confirmed that the emergency was that Donovan contacted Foley about returning. Yikes.

Well sometimes the right decision is not always the easiest or the most lucrative.

Perhaps a few of college colleagues were able bend his ear, It seems for the most part College Coaching is where it's at when it comes to NCAA vs NBA.
Better quality of life for your family, relatively less stressful in most situations.

Hope this doesn't get ugly. :eyebrow:

Shack80
06-03-2007, 11:50 PM
Just goes to show you, never allow yourself to be rushed into a contract. If they are not willing to wait for you, they are likely not who you want to be with.

Kegboy
06-03-2007, 11:54 PM
At least Obie's not backing out to return to ESPN.com. That'd really be embarrasing.

I heard an interview with Altman not long after his reneg. He felt awful about it, but reading between the lines, once he got down there and saw how f'd up the situation really was, he wanted out. He knew that it meant he'd probably never get another job again, and he'd made peace with the fact he'd retire at Creighton.

If this is true, I commend Donovan. It takes balls to do this, cause he's gonna get crucified.

ajbry
06-03-2007, 11:56 PM
Nothing is official yet, but either way it makes the Magic organization look worse than they should. I pin this solely on Donovan, figures he would give them the run around considering he's from Gainesville.

Go Noles.

Kegboy
06-03-2007, 11:57 PM
I wish I'd paid more attention to Billy's interview on PTI after he took the job. I remember him saying this job would be less stressful, he wouldn't have to worry about recruiting or academics, just basketball. I thought that seemed pretty naive on his part.

ajbry
06-04-2007, 12:02 AM
I remember his press conference remarks briefly, where he was talking about all the players he had. You could tell once he mentioned Dwight he knew it was all downhill from there. Hell, he mentioned Tony Battie. That has to be a liberating experience in itself - you go from a 2-time champion to employing Tony Battie as a regular piece of your rotation.

grace
06-04-2007, 12:23 AM
For everyone who thinks the Pacers are cursed lets look at the Magic for a moment. They get T-Mac and do nothing. They get Grant Hill and he can't play for the first 3 years he's there. They get a coach that doesn't even last the weekend.

If the Magic let him go back to FL they should make him pay to refund all the season tickets the team has sold since he "took" the job.

Hoop
06-04-2007, 12:29 AM
The dude was crazy to ever think about leaving Florida. He's got it made there. He build the program up from nothing. He always going to get good recruits, he almost guaranteed 20+ wins every year and a trip to the tournament. He's without a doubt "the man" at Florida. He's going to make more money at Florida than he or his kids can ever spend in a lifetime.

The NBA is just a recipe for failure no matter how good of coach he is. Plus you have to play 82+ games every year, deal with millionaire babies wanting to be the man. More pressure, much bigger chance of failure.

Jose Slaughter
06-04-2007, 01:20 AM
For everyone who thinks the Pacers are cursed lets look at the Magic for a moment. They get T-Mac and do nothing. They get Grant Hill and he can't play for the first 3 years he's there. They get a coach that doesn't even last the weekend.

If the Magic let him go back to FL they should make him pay to refund all the season tickets the team has sold since he "took" the job.

They also had a 1st rounder run back to Europe like his girlfriend told him to.

BoomBaby31
06-04-2007, 01:32 AM
Donovan has the potential to be another Coach K. Florida is a recruiting power house. Warm weather, great all around athletics, beautiful women oh and good academics lol. NBA is just failure unless you are an ultra rare breed and have a good team with good attitudes.

BlueNGold
06-04-2007, 06:46 AM
For everyone who thinks the Pacers are cursed lets look at the Magic for a moment. They get T-Mac and do nothing. They get Grant Hill and he can't play for the first 3 years he's there. They get a coach that doesn't even last the weekend.

If the Magic let him go back to FL they should make him pay to refund all the season tickets the team has sold since he "took" the job.

There's also that little guy named Shaq they could not hang onto.

Anthem
06-04-2007, 08:53 AM
They also had a 1st rounder run back to Europe like his girlfriend told him to.
Yeah, that was my thought as well.

First a lotto pick backs out (pretty high, IIRC. #5, maybe?) than a HC backs out (despite a $30mil payday).

Yeah, that would suck.

OnlyPacersLeft
06-04-2007, 09:31 AM
unreal...magic mgmt once again dropped the ball. Vazquez part deuce!

wintermute
06-04-2007, 09:43 AM
First a lotto pick backs out (pretty high, IIRC. #5, maybe?) than a HC backs out (despite a $30mil payday).


fran vazquez, picked #11 in 2005 draft. drafted ahead of danny granger (#17). of course, david lee was taken at #30 - just goes to show how unpredictable the draft can get

Young
06-04-2007, 12:24 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=katz_andy&id=2890220


That's why there was never a consensus in the Donovan clan to go to Kentucky earlier this spring or to look at NBA jobs in Memphis or Indiana (there was interest from the Pacers according to those close to Donovan).

Jermaniac
06-04-2007, 12:28 PM
I wouldnt let him out of the contract.

avoidingtheclowns
06-04-2007, 01:06 PM
den wetzel's thoughts on the subject...



<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=yspsctnhdln>Midlife U-turn

</TD></TR><TR><TD height=7><SPACER width="1" height="1" type="block"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><STYLE type=text/css> td.yspwidearticlebody { font-size: 13.5px; }</STYLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=yspwidearticlebody>By Dan Wetzel (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/expertsarchive;_ylt=AvGY1SKwXutfwh2PGDBrERvqxLsF?a uthor=Dan+Wetzel), Yahoo! Sports
June 3, 2007 <TABLE id=ysparticleheadshot cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 align=left border=0 hspace="5" vspace="5"><TBODY><TR><TD class=ysptblbdr2><TABLE class=yspwhitebg cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><TABLE class=yspwhitebg cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/cn/headshots/dan_wetzel_4.jpg (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/expertsarchive;_ylt=AgjG2rEL0SEYyTERvsGmoInqxLsF?a uthor=Dan+Wetzel)</TD></TR><TR><TD>http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sp/p/yse_lo_70x24_2.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/sports/yhoo/nba/article/SIG=11daaeced;_ylt=AoeCVMI4oiO5DnoRgCEo7xnqxLsF/*http%3A//sports.yahoo.com/top/expertscorner)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Couldn't Billy Donovan just have bought a sports car?
What a midlife crisis the once and soon-to-be again(?) Florida (http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/teams/fak;_ylt=AkpsPdv9VYAATl00dPVlfLjqxLsF) coach has had since capturing another national championship in April.

There was the flirting with Kentucky (http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/teams/kaf;_ylt=Aooowut8YV_L4lHmMv8mukHqxLsF), the budding romance with the Memphis Grizzlies (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/mem/;_ylt=AvzfzT5.XxTSgBRXZc8WMPHqxLsF), the full-fledged fling with the Orlando Magic (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/orl/;_ylt=AgINaqR4oCzh_vWbKRp9CBbqxLsF) and now, after a weekend of apparent regret, a push for a quickie divorce so he can scamper home to the old thing in Gainesville.

Donovan, 42, according to multiple sources and first reported by foxsports.com, is trying to get out of his just-signed contract (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Aji0RNGwXxRQ0JZWrl5tORTqxLsF?slug=aw-donovanwantsout060307&prov=yhoo&type=lgns) with the Magic so he can return to UF.

Donovan hasn't spoken about the situation, but at this point would you believe anything he said? On Friday, he was gushing about the challenges of competing at the highest level and claiming staying at Florida was the "easy thing." Now he'll fall back on claiming his interest in molding young men or some coachspeak.

Not that it matters to Gators fans. Donovan will be forgiven faster than you can raise another championship banner.

The question is: What the heck happened?

One thing that didn't happen was Donovan being forced into a quick decision. The NBA didn't just spring up out of nowhere. Donovan has thought he wanted to coach in the league (maybe he still does) for years.
"I've always been intrigued by the NBA and I believe I've said that publicly many times," Donovan said Friday.

This spring, according to both league and Donovan sources, he had his representatives put out feelers to the Heat, Knicks and Pacers.

Then there were the Grizzlies. No matter what UF tried to claim in an effort to fool recruits, Donovan and owner Michael Heisley had anything but a chance meeting. They didn't get together to talk about the weather.

According to league and Donovan sources, that dance went back and forth for more than a week. Money was hashed out, responsibilities, the whole thing, until it eventually fell through.

Then the Magic got involved in a process that took nearly a week.

For Donovan, this was the perfect time for a new challenge. The NBA is a low-risk job for a successful college coach. You get richer, get a break from recruiting and live a far more normal, family-conducive life. While college coaches rarely get two or three hours off from work – there always is some fire to put out – in the NBA everything all but shuts down for the month of August.

Forget that stuff about too many games and too few practices. The NBA life is a breeze in comparison. Try no AAU coaches, no suitcases full of cash and no alumni functions. Almost no one in the NBA wants to get into the college game, but the majority of college coaches would jump to the league in a second.

For Donovan, the added appeal of the Magic was, of course, that he might even succeed with Dwight Howard (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3818/;_ylt=AqWyMyy7MS3NW5D5INUDe17qxLsF) and salary-cap room.

Even if he lost, he would just go back and get a better (or comparable) job and better recruits because he once coached in the NBA. Tim Floyd went 93-235 (a .284 winning percentage) in the league, and at Southern California he signed mega-recruit O.J. Mayo, in part because Mayo wanted to play for an "NBA coach."

This is the ultimate win-win for a college guy.

Whether Donovan was going to be successful was the question. He made sense for Orlando because his local popularity and star power was going to help get a new arena financed.

But it's not like he ever has been regarded as a genius innovator on the sideline. He certainly is solid, but his strength always has been in recruiting and motivating. He's a tour de force, perfect in the college game where attention to detail in all facets of the "program" is paramount.
He had plenty of underachieving teams, listless players and big-talent busts through the years. Just three seasons ago, there were plenty of Florida fans who weren't sure where the program was headed. He won a ton the last two seasons, but he also had superior talent, which wasn't happening in Orlando. So who knew if he would make it in the league?
But with those titles, Donovan had earned the opportunity to give it a go. He wanted it. They wanted him.

Then just days (hours?) after a rich marriage was consummated and he made all kinds of bold, earnest comments, he had buyer's remorse. Hey, it happens.

The question now is how he'll get ESPN to spin it for him. Was it his devotion to campus life? Or his realization that his true calling is teaching "kids"? Or maybe how he just loved practices too much to take on those NBA mercenaries?

Don't worry; it'll work out. Donovan will be a bigger hero than ever when Dick Vitale and the crew are done with him. Rival coaches will use this to attack him on the recruiting trail and the NBA may not be so interested anymore. But in the end, it'll be no harm, no foul for Billy D after the wild spring of his midlife crisis.

Maybe Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley can just get him a Porsche as a coming-home present. It might save a lot of headaches next spring.


http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Amo0A_cyqXr.g8O_yKGEQ0m8vLYF?slug=dw-donovanwantsout060307&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

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i tend to agree with wetzel, this wasn't a decision he was rushed into. he's been considering this for a while and had plenty of time to look at what orlando had to offer.

JayRedd
06-04-2007, 01:21 PM
I wouldnt let him out of the contract.

I'd let him out since he doesn't wanna be there, but you gotta assume Donovan's gonna be losing some cash in the deal.

ABADays
06-04-2007, 01:46 PM
I see - he was rushed :rolleyes: Well hell yeah, let him out of it then.

avoidingtheclowns
06-04-2007, 01:59 PM
we were rushed when we traded for murphy. will GSW take him back?

Sollozzo
06-04-2007, 04:45 PM
For everyone who thinks the Pacers are cursed lets look at the Magic for a moment. They get T-Mac and do nothing. They get Grant Hill and he can't play for the first 3 years he's there. They get a coach that doesn't even last the weekend.

If the Magic let him go back to FL they should make him pay to refund all the season tickets the team has sold since he "took" the job.

No kidding.

Call it the curse of Shaquille O'Neal if you'd like. They haven't won a playoff series since 1996, his last season there.

ABADays
06-05-2007, 03:35 PM
I like the fact the Magic are not making it easy for him just to walk away without a non-compete clause. I'm listening to Patrick and I agree with him in that Donovan should be paying the Magic legal bills in this situation.