Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Forever friends, but today enemies
Mentor (Billy Donovan) and pupil (John Pelphrey) come together again but as coaching adversaries.
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published March 15, 2006
JACKSONVILLE - The phone call was simple and relatively short.
"Would you like to come to Marshall (and coach)?" Billy Donovan said.
"Yeah, I would," a young John Pelphrey responded.
"Okay, I'll see you on Tuesday," Donovan said.
That was 12 years ago.
Back in the day when Donovan, the up-and-coming rookie coach at Marshall, and Pelphrey, his young assistant, began their days playing pickup basketball at 6 a.m. in Gullickson Hall on the Marshall University campus.
This afternoon, when No. 3 seed Florida plays No. 14 South Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the two will stand on opposite sides of the Jacksonville VeteransMemorial Arena hoping to "rip each other's faces off."
"I do know one thing about Billy; he's going to be trying to rip our face off (today) at 2:55," said Pelphrey, who in his fourth season at South Alabama is taking the Jaguars to their first NCAA Tournament since 1998. "It's going to be very, very competitive. All the friendship and all the love is going out the window for those two hours. Both of us are going to try to win. When I played golf with him, I used to have to give him strokes, but he was still very ferocious trying to win. He'd bet every shot. (Today), maybe I'll get a few shots from him. It would be nice."
The first time they met, Donovan was the new assistant coach at Kentucky, Pelphrey the up-and-coming Wildcats star.
"John was somebody I think was a great competitor, he had a very, very good ability to lead as a player," Donovan said. "Guys listened to him. And he was a guy that had a very, very good feel and understanding of the game of basketball the way he played."
Donovan, 40, played ball with Pelphrey, challenged him, motivated and inspired him. When he hired Pelphrey at Marshall, he was looking for someone similar to himself. The two say they think very much the same, not just on basketball issues.
"I hired John because I trusted him, I knew him and I knew that being around him he would know what I wanted to get done," Donovan said.
After six seasons at Florida, Pelphrey, 37, moved on to South Alabama. Expect the Gators (27-6) and Jaguars (24-6) to play similar styles as Pelphrey has patterned his team very much like the program he helped Donovan build in Gainesville. And after seasons of 14-14, 12-16 and 10-18, Pelphrey has the Jaguars in the Big Dance.
"He's done a great job at South Alabama," Donovan said. "He took over a very, very difficult situation. I think it has taken a little bit longer than he expected it to be able to take. But I think he's done a good job of being able to persevere. He brought in some good quality kids, and it's great to see him be able to reap the rewards and benefits of his hard work because I know the first three years on him were very, very difficult."
So knowing each other so well, does the advantage go to Donovan or Pelphrey? It depends on whom you ask.
"Coach Pel and Coach Donovan are very similar as far as playing styles," said senior guard Adrian Moss, the only player on the Gators roster who played under Pelphrey. "Coach Pel knows everything about Coach Donovan. But at the same time, Coach Donovan knows everything about Coach Pel. So, basically, it's a wash. Nobody's got the advantage."
"I don't know that it helps any (former coach) because I haven't been around for four years," Pelphrey said. "I watch them on TV. ... He's (Donovan) got no idea what we're doing because we haven't been on TV a lot."
Still, they'll know each other's minds, what each is thinking. Over the years, Donovan and Pelphrey have become such close friends that Pelphrey's 5-year-old daughter is named Ann-Marie Grace Donovan Pelphrey.
"Outside of my father, he's probably the most influential man in my life," Pelphrey said.
So it's easy to understand why this isn't the way either wanted to start the NCAA Tournament.
"I don't think either of us likes it, the fact that somebody's season is going to be over with after this thing," Pelphrey said. "But it is what it is. We don't control who we play in the NCAA Tournament. He's going to have the mighty Gators ready here to go, we're going to have the Jaguars ready to go and we'll see what happens. ... But make no mistake about it, the game is going to be decided by the players. Certainly everybody will have their hands on the team, but the game is going to be decided by the players."
With a little help from two friends on opposite sidelines.