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Billy Reaching Out

If there is any proof that Billy Donovan is in Gainesville for the long haul, this is it.

After going through one of the wilder almost-career changes in college basketball history, the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer sat at his desk, pulled out a pen, started signing letters and getting them in the mail.
One was addressed to every former Gator, All-Americans and walk-ons alike. It kindly asked if they would consider returning to their alma mater the weekend of the Tennessee football game to enjoy a reception, take part in the ring ceremony for last season's team and, most of all, help close some gaps in the program that had previously been ignored.

If there is one thing that bothers me about UF sports, it is the apparent lack of history in each of the programs. Maybe because Donovan had to build a program that never had a star (with the exception of Neal Walk, pictured here), there was no need to know who has come before us. Even with football, there is more focus on the 1990's teams than the rest of the program's history combined.

I don't know if this is due to wanting to ignore certain elements of the past (Vernon Maxwell, NCAA penalties), but it has always appeared to me that 1990 was some invisible barrier. Maybe with Billy reaching out to former players and football installing the Ring of Honor, there will be a better appreciation of UF history.