Edward Aschoff and Mark Schlabach are reporting at ESPN today that University of Florida administrators are working out how to fire head football coach Jim McElwain without paying his $12 million buyout, with sources telling the Worldwide Leader that McElwain’s claims of death threats against his family and players are enough for the school to dismiss him with cause.
Those allegations, according to ESPN, were unsubstantiated. (We’d put money more than one Gators fan suggested the desire to kill McElwain at some point during today’s 42-7 loss to Georgia in Jacksonville, though.) Now Florida believes McElwain’s brief mention of the death threats constitutes cause for dismissal. The relevant statements:
“There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger,” McElwain told reporters. “And yet it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is obviously when the threats [are] against your own players, the death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there.”
When asked to expand on his claims, McElwain wouldn’t go into detail about the nature of the threats and said he wasn’t planning to contact law enforcement.
“A lot of angry people,” McElwain said. “In this business, we’re the ones that you take the shots at. That’s the way it is.”
Two days later, McElwain said that he was wrong to bring up the death threats that he also said “happened in the past.”