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Florida Returns to the Realm of Common Basketball Programs

Now that Billy Donovan has decided to head to the NBA.

Several things here:

1. This is not surprising because I think everyone knew when he turned down Kentucky it was either stay at Florida or go to the NBA if the right job came along. Quite frankly this is a good job since it is only 115 miles from Gainesville(where his family is at present,) he is getting close to $6 million per year, the team is a playoff team and not a full blown rebuild, and he is being asked to only coach and not run the front office(a huge mistake made with both Pitino and Calipari) I actually think Donovan might be successful at this. He is a smart coach and should be very capable of making the transition. If not then he will be back in the college ranks in approximately three years.

2. There was a contract extension from Florida on the table which had not been finished. The interesting question is whether Donovan was stalling to see what opened up in the NBA or did Florida just not get it done in a timely manner. If it its the latter that is sort of a huge gaffe on the part of the Gators.

3. It sucks to be Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson has to be breathing huge sighs that he did not commit to Florida. Lucas on the other hand did and according to letter of intent rules he is stuck unless he wants to take a year off. At the same time I am sure this will ignite more debate over whether it is fair to recruits who commit to a school based primarily on the coach and then get shafted by the coach leaving.

4. Who does Florida hire? Apparently the search begins and ends with VCU head coach Anthony Grant who, according to The Sporting News, was the lead recruiter under Donovan until last season when he took the Rams' job, won 28 games and beat Duke in the NCAA Tournament. It is a safe assumption they might have Grant hired by the weekend.

5. This reminds me how happy I am that for the better part of my life the coaching situation at UNC basketball has been extremely stable and not prone to issues like this.