Donovan turns down St. John’s, UF disagrees

By Adam Silverstein
March 23, 2010

On Sunday, the New York Post and New York Daily News reported that St. John’s University had made initial contact University of Florida head basketball coach Billy Donovan about filling their job opening. According to the Post’s sources, Donovan spoke with a Red Storm booster late Friday and “was intrigued by what he heard.”

The Post also claimed that St. John’s athletic director Chris Monasch had already requested permission from Florida AD Jeremy Foley to speak with Donovan directly about the position and even had Donovan quoted as saying the following via text message in response to the story: “I am very happy here, and we have a very good team coming back next season. St. John’s has a great tradition, and I have great respect for that program.”

However, Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun said respective statements from Foley and Donovan refuted that story. Foley contended that he had yet to be contacted by Monasch, while Donovan claimed that he could not control what is being written about him in the press and that he had only briefly spoken with a school alumnus who happens to be close to the Post.

Now, two days later, the Daily News is reporting that Donovan has put a halt to the Red Storm’s overtures by turning down “a contract in excess of $3 million per year.” Their source claims Donovan denied the offer with a: “Thank you so much but no thank you.”

“Billy was hugely flattered about being offered a job with such potential,” the Daily News’ source said. “But he and his family have something great going on in Gainesville.”

The Gators are once again denying this report, with a Florida spokesman and Foley himself saying there is “no truth” to the story.

Pete Thamel of the New York Times spoke with Foley, who said he would certainly be aware if an offer was made to Donovan. “There’s no way he’s talking to other schools and getting a contract offer and he’s not talking to me,” Foley said. “He doesn’t operate that way.” He also indicated that no one from the university had contacted him for the opportunity to speak with his coach.

OGGOA will continue updating this item as more information is made available.

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

One Comment

  1. Donnie wise says:

    The Oregon job is up next and there comeing with alot more to offer

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