Yesterday Billy Donovan was on PTI, and they asked him about the Kentucky job. The exchange was so predictable that it's almost a waste of time to reproduce it, but it paraphrased, it was roughly this:
Q: Your name has been mentioned in connection with the Kentucky job. Would you be interested in that job?
A: I don't want to get into that, Tony. I love being at Florida, and we're getting ready to play in the Final Four.
Q: But if they called, would you listen?
A: I'm the coach at Florida, and all we're doing right now is getting ready to play UCLA.
Etc. You knew how the conversation was going to go as soon as they asked the question. I like PTI, but this is the most wearisome, boilerplate exchange in sports "journalism," and it's disappointing to watch Kornheiser & Wilbon engage in it. It puts the coach in an impossible position, because he has two choices: he can categorically deny all interest in the job ("I'm not going to be the coach at Alabama"), or he can do this little I'm-the-coach-at-Florida, we're-focusing-on-our-next-game thing, which will be of course be reported as DONOVAN REFUSES TO DENY INTEREST IN KENTUCKY JOB.
Is there any way that coaches can deflect this question without doing the same old dance with the reporters? Let us say that you are Billy Donovan, and that while you're happy at Florida, the challenge of the Kentucky job intrigues you enough that you would at least listen to what they had to say. Calipari and Pitino have given emphatic denials that they are interested in the job, so anything less than that from you is going to look pretty weak. How do you answer that question without making it a story the week before your team plays in the Final Four?
(Or, closer to home, what does Bruce Pearl say now that it's on the ESPN front page that Iowa has been given permission to talk to him?)
Edit: "I"m not leaving Tennessee," says Pearl. He opted for option 1. Excellent. Unless you're a repeat offender like Saban, that normally ends the discussion.
Last edited by Vercingetorix; 03-27-2007 at 11:37 AM..