Billy D says it’s “not right” to use all-access shows as recruiting tools


Florida coach Billy Donovan has always been reverential about the tradition of Kentucky basketball.

But at SEC basketball media days on Thursday morning, Donovan may have inadvertently stoked the Kentucky-Florida basketball rivalry.

Donovan was asked his thoughts about all-access shows in college sports. While he wasn’t specifically talking about All-Access Kentucky, he shared some of his thoughts of how he would approach an all-access show with the Florida basketball program.

“I do think if you are using it as a recruiting tool, I don’t think that’s right,” Donovan said. “If you are using it in a way to maybe help young young players out there, to see what a college practice, college environment is like … I did an all-access show for coaches to buy so to speak, drills, practices those kind of things.

“Whatever your philosophy is, we’re always selling our programs in one way or other, whether it’s all-access, whether it’s DVDs, whether it’s media days, we’re always selling our programs. For me if was doing something like that, I would want it to be done in a way to represent how we do things at Florida.”

Kentucky’s all-access show has included the announcements of 2013 prospects such as the Harrison twins. It also serves as an “infomercial” of the tradition-rich UK program that just won its eighth national title in school history.

Donovan said he wouldn’t want cameras in the dorm rooms of his players. Donovan also said he thought cameras in practice “could be a distraction for players getting things done.”

“I don’t know if I want our kids days to be interrupted like that because I wanted to necessarily maybe go out and promote the program,” Donovan said. “I think that’s our job as a coach.”

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he “said no” for a month before agreeing to the ESPNU-aired All-Access Kentucky show. Calipari said he checked with and received approval from the SEC office before agreeing to the program.

Calipari said he didn’t do it for recruiting purposes, but for wanting to show Kentucky’s players for who they are.

“They’ve got dreams and aspirations and they are chasing those things,” Calipari said. “People think, well they don’t go to class, they don’t work, they just roll out balls. Now you get a chance to see they had a 3.42 grade-point average and nine players over a B average and you get to see how hard they work and how hard it is to play here. It gives people who didn’t know that opportunity. That’s why we did it.”







  1. Granted, we probably don’t make it to the Elite 8 without Bradley Beal; however, I am not a fan of the one-and-done player on which UK thrives. I enjoy watching Billy develop players such as Yegette, Wilbekin, and, of course Boykin among others and look as much forward to following our returning players as I do the overall progress of the basketball team season to season.

  2. I think what Calipari said was really good “you get to see how hard they work and how hard it is to play here.”
    And you can’t blame calipari for taking advantage of a crap rule. Quite frankly, i’d rather have one year of phenomenal talent on my team than having to play against it.

  3. Boynton and Rosario and Wilbekin should ‘carry the load’ and it has been great to watch them grow as Gators! Coach ‘D’ is right… that it’s wrong to ‘let the Student/Player SELL THE PROGRAM; it’s the COACHES JOB! The Gators should be fun to watch again this year, and while Beal will be missed… Young & Murphy and Yuguete & Prather should be exciting under the rim! What’s up Larson? Just didn’t see the P.T. that he wanted? Anytime you get a 2nd chance like he got, and then WALK AWAY…well, I’d like to know what happened, but ‘it’ sounds WEAK on Larson’s part!

  4. Looking at Billy’s comments from living in ky made the uk fans even more upset. Theyve tried for years each time the job comes open to bring him to uk and failed every time. Now that billy made those comments (which i totally agree with by the way) it adds more to the rivalry. Go Gators whoop those cats !!!!