[Now from our News of the Weird desk]...The Orlando Magic is still without a head coach and so, too, is Florida. This seems to be the case this morning, according to several reports.
A few days after dual press conferences and tears and yada-yada-yada, Billy Donovan wants out of his deal with the Orlando Magic and (NOW THIS IS AN ASSUMPTION) wants to return to Florida. Only one question from The Miami Herald reporter...Mr. Donovan, Why do you torment us so?
It appears UF basketball has emerged from the Twilight Zone scorned but unscathed. That's assuming Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley gives Donovan his old job. As for the Magic, well, that's a funny name for a basketball team.
Here's a sequence of events leading up to today's madness...
TUESDAY: Donovan tells reporters that neither he nor his agent have spoken with the Orlando Magic.
WEDNESDAY: Donovan accepts deal to coach the Magic.
THURSDAY: It's official.
FRIDAY: Press conferences. Tears. Florida contacts former UF assistant Anthony Grant. Grant giddy about opportunity of a lifetime. Spreads the news. Donovan bumps his head. [FIGURATIVE]
SATURDAY: UF officials fly to Virginia to interview Grant. Donovan, still dazed and concussed, calls Foley and, like magic, Foley leaves Virginia.
Oh, for a transcript of that phone conversation. Even better, maybe it was communicated by text messages. (Because who has the time to talk on the phone anymore.) Let us use our imaginations...
DONOVAN: Hey, Jeremy [Foley]. Look, we need to talk. I've been searching my soul. I mean, really living in the moment and...
You say this is no time for jokes. I disagree. Times like these are the best time for jokes. Levity relieves tension and the fear of death.
So, Foley returns to Gainesville and leaves Grant at the altar. Grant, in kind, issues this statement:
"Due to the amount of media speculation regarding my involvement with the University of Florida coaching vacancy, I felt it necessary to address the situation. I have been contacted by the University of Florida regarding the coaching vacancy. I have not had any in-person contact with any Florida representatives, nor have I been offered the job. At this point, I will have no further comment on the situation. All my focus is on my responsibilities at VCU."
Translation: I'm not going anywhere. I love VCU and I love being employed.
Grant should have consulted one of his mentors about how to handle job speculation. Deny. Deny. Deny.
No word yet on whether or not Donovan will be allowed back in Gainesville to coach his old team. He just won two national championships, so it would seem that could be an option. Of course, he might return to the Magic.
The NBA team released this statement Monday morning:
"While Central Florida, the Orlando Magic and Billy were energized with the announcement of his contract signing on Friday, we know there was a different feeling in Gainesville and people have been tugging at him since that time," the Magic said in a statement.
"Billy is conflicted with those emotions and the opportunity he has ahead in Orlando and in the NBA. We've had numerous conversations and a personal visit in Gainesville with Billy over the last 48 hours, and we have a commitment from him that the dialogue between us will continue."
A few questions for us to answer this morning:
Should Florida take Billy back?
Is there a psychiatrist in the house?
Did the Orlando Magic really just call Billy Donovan "conflicted" and then say the team still wants to work out a deal?
Is it possible that Billy Donovan could wind up at South Carolina? I hear the Gamecocks like pro-team retreads.
NOTE: Someone owes me money. You know who you are.