Donovan Staying Best For All Concerned

Billy Donovan staying put as the coach of the Florida Gators is not only the best thing for Donovan and the University of Florida. It's the best thing for a number of individuals and entities.

Anthony Grant ---- This is a guy who I love and respect and would be thrilled to see on the Florida hardwood if circumstances led to it. Yet I think for Anthony it is better to build his own reputation and resume. Instead of taking over a program that won two NCAA Titles in the last four years he gets an Alabama program that has never been to a Final Four. He has resources, a fan base and reasonable expectations. Plus he gets to write his own story as opposed to being an addendum to the Donovan era.

Travis Ford ---- A kid Billy once coached now has the chance of the dream job of his entire life. Ford has been at Oklahoma State for just one year and may be in a bit over his head, but I'm impressed with what he's done and he knows what he's getting into IF that opportunity is presented to him.

Patterson and Meeks ---- If Billy Donovan took the Kentucky job there would be unbelievable and unfair pressure on these two kids to return to school. After all, they claim to want to win a championship and now they have a coach with two NCAA titles. They couldn't possibly leave. Now, at least they get to make their decisions with a whole lot less pressure. No matter what they decide, it's a better situation for them to deal with.

SEC Basketball ---- The league is struggling with its reputation right now, which is kind of weird since the SEC won two of the last three NCAA Tournaments, but that's show biz. Still if the guy who won those titles changes jobs within the league it brings back the perception that SEC Basketball is Kentucky and the 11 dwarfs. Donovan staying with Florida helps the league's rep… but not as much as some significant wins outside league play would next fall.

Nick Calathes ---- The Gator standout would have faced similar issues and pressures as Meeks and Patterson to be there for the new guy. Now Calathes can investigate his NBA prospects with a clear conscience. Now let's hope he listens to all the opinions and not just the most favorable ones. If he does that, he'll be a key part of the 2010 SEC Champs. If he doesn't he'll be a second round pick with no guaranteed contract.

Jeremy Foley ---- Florida's Athletic Director par excellence lost Lon Kruger to Illinois 13 years ago but this would have been worse. Foley rightfully believes he should never lose a coach to another program, and losing the most successful basketball coach in school history would have hurt… a lot.

Billy Donovan will have Florida back among the nation's elite – as soon as next year if Calathes stays and a top guard can be added. It's good that he'll be here for another run at the top of college basketball.


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