Champion Gators begin uncertain future

By Mark Long The Associated Press

ATLANTA – Coach Billy Donovan spent several hours after the national championship game mingling with family and friends, and socializing with school officials.

Sorry Florida fans, he didn’t agree to a new contract.

He didn’t talk to Kentucky, either. But it could happen soon.

Donovan’s future – along with those of stars Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford and Joakim Noah – took center stage yesterday, just a few hours after the Gators etched their names on another national championship trophy and secured a spot in NCAA history with an 84-75 victory against Ohio State.

“I haven’t talked to anybody, and everybody’s looking for answers from me like I’m having all these behind-the-scenes conversations and I’m working these angles,” Donovan said Tuesday. “None of that is going on.”

At least not yet.

Donovan acknowledged that his agent could have talked to the Wildcats, and he expressed admiration for the storied program in the Bluegrass State.

But he also said he intends to stay at Florida. He talked about his loyalty to the Gators and athletic director Jeremy Foley and his desire to “build tradition over a period of time” in Gainesville.

In short, he gave fans in Florida and Kentucky hope.

“It’s hard for me to comment about anything,” Donovan said. “I think people maybe feel like I’m being coy or trying to move around the questions. I’m not doing that. There’s nothing for me to say at all. I haven’t spoken to anybody, so my intentions are to be at the University of Florida and coach their basketball team, and I’m happy there.”

The Gators, behind a barrage of 3-pointers and Donovan’s astute game plan, became the first team to win consecutive championships since Duke in 1992.