Florida Gators basketball signee KeVaugn Allen plans to ask for release from letter of intent

By Adam Silverstein
May 6, 2015

Head coach Billy Donovan may not be the only member of the Florida Gators leaving the program this offseason as four-star 2015 guard signee KeVaughn Allen now seemingly plans to ask for a release from his National Letter of Intent following Donovan’s departure from the program after 19 seasons.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Allen’s mother “confirmed that her son will ask for a release” after her husband (Allen’s stepfather) made the same proclamation on a local radio show earlier in the day Tuesday.

“He’s going to open his… I guess the best way to put it is he’s going to keep his options open. That’s the best way to put it” the stepfather, John Curry, said on Sports Talk with Bo when asked if Allen plans to ask for his release.

“It’s coming,” he continued about the release. “Florida has to hire somebody before you can actually ask for a release. You can’t actually ask for a release until they bring a new coach in, to my understanding. I’m just going by what I was told. Once they get a coach hired, then you can formally ask for your release. I don’t know if that’s true or not, that’s just what we were told.”

Pressed on whether Allen will go somewhere other than Florida due to the departure of Donovan, Curry said that will be the case.

“His whole draw to Florida, besides the beautiful university, is the coaches,” Curry explained, before refusing to get into additional details on the situation.

Allen, who committed to UF over one year ago on April 30, 2014, chose not to ink his NLI with the Gators during the early signing period while under pressure from those in his community to flip his commitment to hometown Arkansas.

His stepfather was adamant on the show that “KeVaughn makes his own decisions.”

A source told OnlyGators.com that Allen never wavered in his pledge to Florida and Donovan, and he signed his NLI on April 16, 2015, without hesitation.

But with Donovan no longer with the team, it appears that Allen – the Gators’ highest-rated 2015 commitment, who is ranked as the 61st player in the nation per the 247 Sports Composite – has now had a change of heart.

Whether Allen is actually released from his NLI, however, remains to be seen.

According to the NCAA: “The NLI is a contract between a prospective student-athlete and a school, not an agreement between individuals. A student-athlete is obligated to attend the school he or she signed with unless the school agrees to release the student-athlete. If a school entices a prospective student-athlete to sign an NLI by offering an automatic release if a coach leaves, the prospective student-athlete’s NLI may be declared void and the school may face penalties.”

Should Allen ultimately request a release from his NLI, Florida will most likely grant his request but will likely ask Allen to first speak with its new coach in the effort of keeping him signed with the program.

Releasing Allen would immediately hurt the Gators, which due to three non-graduation offseason departures (two early entrants, one transfer) were already one scholarship player under the NCAA limit of 13 with Allen in tow.

Allen was being counted on to be an offensive weapon for Florida in 2015-16 after the departure of junior G Michael Frazier II.

The Gators have three other four-star prospects signed for next season including power forward Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL), small forward Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) and center Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL). As of press time, none of the three has indicated he plans to ask for an NLI release, though that certainly could change once a new coach is hired.


  1. SW Fl Joe says:

    I would think that UF could do a lot better than having their highest rated recruit ranked 61st. An elite program should be signing top 20 talent year in and year out

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Why? Billy never jumped on the one and done unless there was more than just the ability, like Beal with quality character and work ethic. He went for well rounded classes that filled needs and had the type of players that would buy into what he was teaching, not a bunch of people already waiting to go to the NBAB and not thinking of the process. Even with top ranked player being 61, it was still a top 10/ top 15 class

    • 1974Gator says:

      Top 20s are one and dones. BD liked to coach up the players he recruited. Makes you wonder if BD will get the buy in from his NBA stars.

    • DC Gator says:

      Billy was never big on the “one and done” athletes that usually fill up the top 20 recruit bank. I’ve always been a fan of his approach to recruiting. Developing young men into great team players instead of a guys already with one foot in the NBA. Look how great our 5 star players have been doing these last couple years anyway.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Yeah, SW Fl Joe, how dare you besmirch the memory of Billy D by suggesting that he would he would ever sign a “one-and-doner?” Billy was just too much of a purist, too principled and too high-minded for that. Don’t you remember all of those top 20 recruits that came begging to play at Florida that Billy had to politely turn down?

      I mean, not counting Chris Walker, of course. Or any other “one-and-doner” that he could have signed, like any other smart college basketball coach in the nation would have done. Every coach takes that level of talent EVERY time he has the chance. . and if you only get him 1 year, then so be it.

      You people crack me up. You are either all in to the point of being delusional, or you are all out to the point of being delusional. No middle ground for you guys.

      Speaking of being delusional, SW Fl Joe, since when is the 61st best HS baller in the country chopped liver? The top 2 players from every state total 100, and this guy was rated closer to 50 than to 100. You sign that guy every chance you get.

      I’m buying the coffee. You all could use a cup.

      • Michael Jones says:

        How about Bradley Beal? 5th ranked recruit in the nation and a “one-and-doner.” Does he count? I guess Billy might have made an exception there too, lol.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          As I pointed out in my post (which you either didn’t read or you just wanted to get one last dig in at Billy before he goes), it isn’t a question of who he signs, it is the kind of player he recruits. Yes he will occasionally recruit a one and done player based on needs and HOW THEY FIT INTO HIS PHILOSOPHY. Maybe you should see how many McDonald’s All Americans than have played for Billy vs. every other coach in UF history. Or even How Many have played for UF compared to the other “elite” programs and you will find it extremely comparable and better than almost all.

          It never ceases to amaze me that considering how “soft” his teams are according to you and how bad his coaching is (even though you truly love him as a person!) how successful he has been and how just a couple of years ago (before the 30 game winning streak and yet another final 4) he was the sportswriters consensus best active college BB coach in the nation. Either everyone else is wrong or you are. I tend to believe the latter.

    • waldo road says:

      Are we really elite ? Like UK , Duke , Kansas, NC ? We are a second tier level however, with the likes of Mich St, Louisville, Syracuse,Indiana,Ohio St. , UCLA

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Depends on how you define elite. We were nothing before Billy. Now we are generally considered a top 20 program, to some we are a top 10, but 10-20 with administration dedicated to success (as long as done the right way) and the ability to pay a salary of a top 5 or top 10 program will be alluring to almost any quality coach out there. Even in hoops, Florida is fertile with talent and don’t necessarily have to recruit nationwide although Billy was very successful doing that in many cases. Someone like Chris Mack who can recruit at Xavier should be able to recruit the south like a demon possessed.

  2. senuod says:

    It sucks, but you really can’t blame the kid or his family. You come to a school, expecting to play for a great, future HOF coach. Unfortunately, the timing of an offer from the NBA takes that coach away from your future school not long after you signed a NLI.

    However, if I was his father, I would have kept that news to myself until an actual decision had been made to transfer or not. Especially if it’s been worked in the background right now….unless he intends to put public pressure on UF to secure his stepson’s release….Fun stuff.

    • 1974Gator says:

      The dad is way too busy speaking for his son. The son would do well to listen to his own thoughts and to not mistake other opinions for his own. That said, if we promote someone from the staff the system and how KeVaughn will play won’t change AND if we go outside and get an Archie Miller calibre coach the boy will find himself in expert hands. Hopefully, someone from our staff is speaking along these lines.

  3. ELI ANDERSON says:

    We all forget that these are all 17,18 or 19 year old kids. They fall in love with a coach never the school in Basketball. Turnover is always going to happen in coaching changes regardless of sport. Before you post about how Billy didn’t recruit one and dones or that this recruit needs to think for himself, ask yourself when you where 17, 18, or 19 did you do all of your thinking or did you lean on your parents judgements as guidance? Speaking of One and Dones Billy has had some in his tenure (albeit not as much as Calipari or coach K) Mike Miller, Bradley Beal, and Mo Speights. He also had alot of players leave after just 2 seasons too, Anthony Roberson, Matt Walsh, Nick Calathes, and most recently Chris Walker. I miss Billy just as much as everybody else but we must look at his legacy as one who built the program not the saint of purist basketball. I’ll remember Billy as the man that brought unprecedented highs to our program.

  4. g8ter27 says:

    5In other news my nine year old (4’5″ 70lbs just received an offer (which he accepted and is now committed) from coach Mac to play linebacker for the 2024 class His 2nd offer overall (also got one from Flager College).