It’s a Big Blue hoops world


I get that Billy Donovan is less-than-thrilled about the SEC scheduling and that he is not alone in believing Kentucky gets preferential treatment by avoiding the Thursday-Saturday curse.

He’s looking out for his own team and his own sport.

But the average Gator fan has nothing to complain about. You can’t have it both ways.

You can’t brag about the amount of money your league pulls in and then complain because TV dictates scheduling. And you can’t get preferential treatment in football and then complain when you don’t in basketball.

Well, maybe you can but it will do you no good.

Florida has played its last two football bowl games at a slot well above its deserved spot. The Outback Bowl after a 7-5 2010 season and the Gator Bowl after a 6-6 2011 season were not what the Gators deserved.

But Florida has a football brand that is among the best in the nation. As a result, the Gators are held in a higher esteem when all things are equal and sometimes even when they are not.

The same doesn’t hold true in basketball, despite the best efforts of Donovan to turn Florida into a basketball school. It’s not one and never will be one. It’s a great basketball program and he is a tremendous coach but when you can’t sell out conference games and a quarter of the fans don’t hang around until the game is over, you are not a basketball school.

Kentucky is a basketball school. It’s the only true basketball school in the league. But more than that, Kentucky is a stronger brand than any other SEC schools and it’s not even close. ESPN wants Kentucky on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which are its biggest basketball nights. Thursday is filler programming.

It’s just the way it is. Learn to live with it.


  1. Geez Pat…..”Learn to live with it?” I bet if you covered basketball full-time or if it was your boy Meyer you would have a different approach. It is understood that Florida is a football school first, but you act like nothing holds a candle to it. Billy D is simply a great coach who cares about winning, creating quality kids, and UF athletics in general….I know you are not questioning him as we are very, very lucky to have Coach Donovan. A suggestion, maybe a future coumn you should challenge the UF fan base and it’s support of all the programs so that we don’t have to “Learn to live with it.”

  2. Pat,
    Donovan is one of the best in the country and we are VERY fortunate to have him. Yes, we are a football school first and will always be, but basketball isn’t thought of as the “red-headed step-child” like you insinuate above. UK has nothing but hoops. We Gators are fortunate enough to have it all.
    Go Gators!

  3. Florida is STILL THE ONLY SCHOOL in the SEC to have won Football & Baketball in the same year: “GATOR-SLAM” in 2006…
    So, while I agree Kentucky is a Basketball School…FLORIDA is the only FOOTBAALL AND BASKETBALL SCHOOL in the SEC…CHOMP-CHOMP!!!

  4. Did Billy snub you, Pat? You don’t want to be considered a Homer, when everyone knows you are, of the Simpson style? DUH!

    Dude, the SEC, SEC, SEC gets preferential treatment in football because the only league better than the SEC in football is the NFL.

    You don’t judge a program by its fans. You judge it by its character, and Billy has that. Ask to borrow a cup from him to season your humble piehole.