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Gator Report

Antonya English

Kentucky schedules 4:30 press conference; Donovan rumors begin

27

March

Kentucky athletic officials have scheduled a press conference for 4:30 today, and are expected to announce that head basketball coach Billy Gillispie will not be retained.

Gillispie was 40-27 in two seasons. He has a seven-year deal with Kentucky that pays him a base salary of $2.3 million annually. Kentucky lost eight of their last 11 games this season.

That has put Florida coach Billy Donovan at the center of the rumor mill.

Several reports have Donovan flying to Lexington to meet with Kentucky officials, but his father has said the coach is at his family vacation home in Crsecent Beach.

Donovan reportedly flew to Lexington on Thursday, but UF athletic officials said he was in Gainesville during the time those reports had him on a private plane to Kentucky.

Also, Florida athletic director was reportedly on a plane to Richmond, where former assistant Anthony Grant is the head coach at VCU. But again. UF officials said Foley had not left town.

This scene is strangely reminiscent of the one that played out two years ago when former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith resigned. The Gators were in the midst of a national championship run while rumors swirled that Donovan was preparing to take the vacant Kentucky job. He has said he was never offered the job, but did talk with Kentucky athletic officials. He eventually took the Orlando Magic job, then backed out.

The chances of Donovan publicly commenting are slim. In an interview two days before the start of the SEC tournament, Donovan told me his theory based on what happened two years ago. If he comments on a job that hasn't been offered to him, he appears arrogant and presumptuous. If he says he's not interested, then something causes him to change his mind, he seems like a liar.

"It's a no-win situation for me,'' he said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:51pm]

    

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