Billy Donovan You Have A Lot Of Nerve

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMarch 14, 2008


At this time last year, the Florida Gators were the best team in college basketball last year, and looking to repeat asl National Champions.

Well this year Billy Donovan and his team are making headlines again: Florida loses in first round of SEC Tournament 80-69. Instead of the usual we have to work harder next year and with losing comes experience speech that most coaches dole out after this type of game, Donovan said ''we’re [32] games into the season and I’m not going to sit up here and talk about youthfulness or what we don’t have and what we lost. It’s in front of our guys what it takes to win and for whatever reason, I haven’t brought it out of them. They’re not committed to it. I’m not necessarily really that excited about these guys being sophomores.”

He went on to further bash the team complaining about commitment and dedication. What kind of message are you sending out when you make remarks like that. You have to remember you are representing yourself, The University of Florida, and the NCAA.

Also it had to feel like a slap in the face to newcomers like Jai Lucas, Shane Payne, Nick Calathes, as well as all the other freshman on the squad who were recruited by Billy. Obviously he thought they were good enough to make them successful or else he wouldn't have coaxed them into playing for him.

Billy Donovan is spoiled.

After the historic two straight National Championships runs, he has failed some kind of bar he set. There is an underlying notion that if we don't win, we`re failures and we are not worthy of playing Division I basketball. What Donovan fails to realize is that nobody deemed them the best team in the land and thought they were going to three-peat.

He also needs to see that he does not have the kind of talent, experience, or skill that he had with the previous teams. He does not have Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, or Chris Richard. This is the same man who left Florida for the Orlando Magic, turned tail after two days, and came crawling back to the school.

Certainly that had some effect on the players, whom he met with him face-to-face, looked them dead in the eye, and promised he would be coaching them come the start of the season. They have not publicly expressed their thoughts, but have concealed them within the team, questioning his loyalty, creditability, dedication, and heart.

Sure there's always a chance the comments were made out of sheer love for his team and motivation but, maybe just maybe, the players will take it the wrong way and will want not to play for Billy Donovan or Florida. The disrespectful comments may cause some players to transfer, although not many. And if Donovan's team performs poorly  next year will he continue this method and criticize even more?

I'm willing to bet that if he took the job in Orlando, Dwight Howard still would've gotten called out simply because Billy tries to demand perfection. Personally, I believe he's not that good of a coach and that he just got lucky when Noah and others fell into the program, thus causing his stock to skyrocket and him to have a immense ego.

All this disrespect coming from someone who didn't want to be here in the first place. At least if you're going to command greatness from a team, give them time to develop there only freshman and it will be key to see how the team responds to these quotes.