Friday, June 01, 2007

Bye-Bye Billy

As I am blogging on the road (with a very slow internet connection), this post will be brief.

There will be time for recriminations, accusations and hand wringing later.

A few immediate thoughts -

1. When someone waives over $5 million a year in your face, at a time when you will never be more marketable, you take it. Any "duty" Donovan had to Florida is always superceded by the duty to one's family.

2. This, somehow, doesn't quite feel like Spurrier leaving. Yes, they both built their respective programs. But Spurrier is a Gator through and through (note his recent comments about the team after they beat Ohio State). Spurrier felt like a betrayal. This feels more like business.

3. Foley will, based on the Zook experience, do the right thing this time. Hopefully we can save this recruiting class. And, what decent coach wouldn't want to coach these kids?

4. Odds say Donovan will not succeed in the NBA. Donovan's strength has always been recruiting. Plus, the grind of 82 regular season games - plus perhaps the playoffs - wears on a man.

I'll predict it right here - Donovan will fail as an NBA head coach. He will then return to the college ranks (within 5 years).

And it won't be at Florida.

Does that music sound familar?


Eric said...

Disagree with your first two points. Wasn't about the money. Billy could have bled $5 mil (or close to it) out of UK. They were willing to mortgage the university to get him.

Feels more like a betrayal than Spurrier's leaving. At least to me. Spurrier left at the end of the football season, giving UF a whole offseason to hire a new coach. Donovan screwed us.

Agree that JF will do the right thing, and if your other post is right, can't argue with Anthony Grant as the next UF coach.

And no question, the NBA will chew up Donovan and spit him out. The Magic management team is horrendous, and I say that as someone who lived in Orlando for the first decade of the Magic's existence. Billy D was a fool to leave Gainesville, and he'll realize that within a year or two.

And if he thinks he and his family can still remain in Gainesville? I think they might find it a pretty unfriendly place.

Henry Gomez said...

Wow Eric, didn't this guy just give us two national titles? Unfriendly Gainesville?

I don't begrudge anybody their ability to make a buck. The days of John Wooden are over. You aren't going to see a top coach stay with a team for 20 or 30 years. We got 11 out of Billy.

And the situation is exactly the same as Spurrier. Spurrier made his announcement as soon as the NFL season ended and the coaching carousel began. The Magic weren't going to hire Billy before the end of the season. I'm sure they began talks with him as soon as they fired Hill.