Posted 03/28/2007 at 01:34 AM
Now Billy Donovan knows how Roy Williams felt when he took his last Kansas team to the Final Four just after Matt Doherty got canned at North Carolina in 2004. Now Gator fans just hope Billy D won't be doing a post-game interview with Bonnie Bernstein come Monday.
What will Donovan do? Stay at Florida? Bolt for Lexington? Hell, there's even a rumor floating out there that he'll replace Pat Riley as the Heat's next coach.
All I do know is this: The University of Florida will not lose Donovan because someone else -- the 'Cats, the Heat, whoever -- will give him more money. That will not happen.
And make no mistake, it's payday for Billy D, who turned down a raise last year because he didn't want to profit financially when his players -- Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer -- resisted riches to stay in school.
For those who think Donovan will leave for Kentucky, where he was an assistant for Rick Pitino from 1989-94, the reasoning is that Florida is a football school and always will be, while UK is a basketball school and always will be.
But is that really a factor?
You see, Donovan figured out what Lon Kruger never could -- the football program is your friend, not your enemy.
From the get-go, Billy the Kid embraced the success of Steve Spurrier's (and now Urban Meyer's) program and used it as a recruiting tool.
And, last time I checked, recruiting was going just fine at Florida, while coming under criticism at Kentucky. And, lest we forget, Florida has won six in a row over Kentucky.
I don't think Donovan is a Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden, destined to stay in Gainesville for decades to come. But for now, it says here that the SEC's longest current tenure will continue.
As for former Florida assistant Anthony Grant, the word on the street is that he's going to stay at VCU even if Iowa and/or Michigan come calling. For starters, the Rams are going to be very good again next year and the school is about to give him a nice raise.
Also, Grant is a Miami native who covets the UM job that could be opening this time next year. Plus, he could be a candidate at Florida if Donovan leaves.
According to the Mobile Register, South Alabama head coach John Pelphrey is staying put.
Stan Heath is out in Arkansas and the Hogs appear to be hot for Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie, who could also get consideration from UK.
Tennessee's Bruce Pearl removed himself from consideration at Iowa on Tuesday.