Let the Games Begin: Rumors Swirl Of Billy Donovan Leaving Florida for Kentucky

John SimsCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2009

ATLANTA - MARCH 13:  Head coach Billy Donovan of the University of Florida Gators watches during the SEC Basketball Tournament on March 13, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Commodores defeated the Tigers 93-82.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

And so it begins 'Cats fans.  The door on Billy Gillispie's coaching career at the University of Kentucky had barely closed when the first replacement rumor popped up on the Internet...and it's a doozy.

According to Kevin Holden of Fox 35 Sports in Orlando, Billy Donovan is leaving the University of Florida to accept the head coaching position at the University of Kentucky

Holden's report goes on to say that a source close to the UK athletic program revealed that an agreement, in principle, has been reached between Donovan and the school to take over as head coach of the basketball team.

It's been widely rumored for years that Kentucky would love to have Donovan, what with his ties to Rick Pitino, both as a player and assistant coach, and the amazing job he's done at Florida (NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007).  His career record is an impressive 345-146 with Florida and Marshall.

Almost immediately, Donovan released a statement aimed at squashing the Kentucky rumors.  His statement read, "In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible. I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here."

So there you have it UK fans.  Take it for what it's worth.  One "source" says it's a done deal, while Donovan himself says he's committed to Florida. 

Most of us have heard the old "I'm committed to (insert team name here)" song and dance routine (see Saban, Nick and Petrino, Bobby).  Needless to say, it'll be an interesting couple of weeks in the Bluegrass State as this situation gets sorted out. 

Stay tuned.