Florida-Florida State basketball game to return to football weekends in 2013
For years, Florida coach Billy Donovan and Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton have respectfully disagreed on when is the best date to play each other in their annual rivalry on the basketball court.
Donovan believes playing the game on the weekend of the annual football game is best - - it ensures a sellout and maximizes the rivalry weekend. Hamilton has said the football game takes away from the basketball game by playing it on the same weekend.
But beginning with a new contract in 2013, the series will return to being held on the Friday night prior to the annual Florida-Florida State football game.
"I just personally feel that it's a great weekend, it's great for their alumni and our alumni, to play at that time,'' Donovan said Tuesday. "I think there was something in the contract that gave them an out, that if they had an opportunity to play in one of those holiday festival tournaments that they could do it.''
The new contract will allow no opting out of that weekend.
The No. 11 Gators and Seminoles will play Thursday night at the O'Connell Center, but with school closed for the holidays, a sellout is unlikely. Which is one of the reasons Donovan advocates moving the game.
"I've been in this state long enough that, you get a lot of people traveling in for that game, football-wise and basketball-wise, I always thought it was a great weekend, you know?'' Donovan said. "I think if Leonard wants to do it in Tallahassee that weekend I'm fine with it.''