Donovan Struggling With Decision

While the clock ticks in both Orlando and Gainesville, sources close to the Gator Basketball coach say he is agonizing over the offer to become the new coach of the Orlando Magic. Donovan didn't expect the Magic to come in with such an overwhelming offer, reportedly six years at $6 million per.

That offer dwarfs anything Florida can or should do for the most successful coach the basketball program has ever had. The Gators and Donovan were believed to be close to an agreement to re-do his deal with the school, but the dollars would just be over half what the Magic has reportedly put on the table.

Donovan has always left the door open to the idea of coaching in the NBA because of the "all basketball" nature of the pro game. There are no booster clubs, no compliance offers and no academic counselors. The only recruiting might be for a free agent or two every year.

Still it has to be gut-wrenching for the Gator Coach because he just added Rob Lanier to his staff and Jai Lucas to his roster earlier this month. He would also be leaving a program in a state of flux after losing the top six players off the roster. That's not the kind of situation you would like to hand over to your successor.

Still, while $3 million a year is a lot of money, the chance to double that is staggering. To be able to do so with a minimal disruption to the family makes it even more palatable. But there remains the difficulty of coping with the NBA lifestyle that involves far more time on the road. For a young father who already regrets the amount of time he's away from his kids that might be too much for him to take.

I always thought it would be, but at this point I think it's a toss of the coin.

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