|Magic: Donovan is 'conflicted,' contract talks continue|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 04 June 2007 05:52|
It's unclear whether Donovan has 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 athletic director Jeremy Foley and 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.
Donovan agreed to the deal with Orlando on Thursday, one day after the Magic met with former Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy about the job. Van Gundy, who also interviewed for coaching vacancies in Charlotte, Indiana and Sacramento in recent weeks, might not be available for long - he had a second interview with Sacramento's ownership group in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The Gators contacted Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant soon after Donovan's decision. 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 and AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.