Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Florida is flatly denying Tuesday’s Daily News story that a St. John’s booster offered Billy Donovan more than $3 million per year to coach the Red Storm.
“St. John’s did not contact us regarding Billy Donovan. There is no truth to the report that he turned down $3 million a year….zero truth,” said Fred Demarest, Florida’s assistant AD for Communications.
The Daily News quoted a source saying that billionaire St. John’s alum Mike Repole, the founder of Glaceau, offered Donovan a contract on behalf of the school
“Thank you so much but no thank you,” said Donovan, according to the source, called a “confidant” by the paper.
Donovan, a Long Island native who makes $3.5 million per year at Florida, previously told the New York Post by text that he was not interested in leaving the Gators.
“I am very happy here, and we have a very good team coming back next season,” Donovan told Lenn Robbins of the Post in a text message. “St. John’s has a great tradition, and I have great respect for that program.”
Knicks center David Lee, a former Florida star, also said he thought it was unlikely Donovan would replace Norm Roberts, who was fired late Thursday after six seasons at the Queens school.
“I really don’t [think he would take the job]. I don’t,” Lee told me Sunday after the Rockets downed the Knicks, 116-112. “I know he still has a lot of family and friends up here, but I know he loves it down in Florida…I would think he would be in Florida.”
Another source close to Donovan said he “would seriously doubt it,” in reference to Donovan’s interest in the St. John’s job.
Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and Louisville coach Rick Pitino have both reportedly said they will remain at their respective schools.
That could leave St. John’s targeting Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt or Hofstra’s Tom Pecora.
(Photo courtesy Orlando Sentinel)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.