GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Billy Donovan is "conflicted" about
his decision to leave the Florida Gators to coach the Orlando
Magic, and he will continue talking with the NBA team about the
contract he agreed to last week, the Magic said Monday.
Donovan has not yet signed the five-year, $27.5 million contract
with the Magic.
"While Central Florida, the Orlando Magic and Billy were
energized with the announcement of his contract signing on Friday,
we know there was a different feeling in Gainesville and people
have been tugging at him since that time," the Magic said in a
"Billy is conflicted with those emotions and the opportunity he
has ahead in Orlando and in the NBA. We've had numerous
conversations and a personal visit in Gainesville with Billy over
the last 48 hours, and we have a commitment from him that the
dialogue between us will continue."
FoxSports.com, citing two anonymous sources, reported Sunday
that Donovan was having second thoughts about coaching the Magic
and had approached both sides about getting out of the deal.
According to one of the sources, the Magic forced Donovan to make a
Florida sports information director Steve McClain declined
comment early Monday.
Donovan, 42, said last week that he had always been intrigued by
the NBA, and that Orlando was the perfect situation because it was
an up-and-coming team and close to home.
He led the Gators to consecutive national titles the past two
seasons and was slated to sign a seven-year deal worth
approximately $3.5 million annually. The deal was in the process of
being approved when he agreed to coach the Magic.
The Gators contacted Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant
soon after Donovan's decision. Florida athletic director Jeremy
Foley had been scheduled to meet with Grant on Saturday in
Richmond, Va., but the meeting never took place, and Grant said
Sunday night that he hadn't been offered the job.