|Magic: Donovan is 'conflicted,' but contact talks continue|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 04 June 2007 02:23|
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 statement.
``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 rash decision.
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.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Kay in Miami contributed to this report.
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