The Florida Gators are off to a 3-3 start, and things are getting ugly in Gainesville. Tensions are at an all-time high after reports that coach Jim McElwain has been receiving death threats aimed at his players, his family, and himself.
Early on Saturday morning, Forbes reporter and sports lawyer Darren Heitner said that Florida boosters were being asked to pool money to secure a high-profile coach.
There have rumblings that the University of Florida and McElwain were in talks to buyout his contract. Negotiations were said to be underway, but were “miles apart” as his agent Jimmy Sexton attempted to secure a top-dollar buyout for the Florida coach.
Source: Boosters have been called to pool $ in anticipation that Gators will soon be hiring new head football coach
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) October 28, 2017
But only a couple of hours later, Yahoo! Sports reporter Pat Forde responded to that report, claiming they were false.
She claims that an unnamed source told her that there had been no talks between the two sides to part ways after the end of this season.
Y source familiar with the situation says there have been no conversations between UF and Sexton regarding McElwain's future at school. https://t.co/PUTDoNn8BF
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) October 28, 2017
After speculation continued to run rampant, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin addressed the issue himself in a publicly issued statement.
“No one representing the University of Florida or our athletic department has had any conversations with Coach McElwain or his representatives regarding a buyout of his contract,” Stricklin said. “Our focus is on this great Florida-Georgia rivalry today in Jacksonville.”
Regardless of whether the two sides are currently involved in negations is besides the point. The Gators are struggling, and likely staring at another loss against an undefeated Georgia team this weekend. The Gators are coming off a nine-win season in 2016, and falling to 3-4 wouldn’t be enough to can McElwain alone.
But when you look at the toxicity that is plaguing the program right now, it might be in McElwain’s best interest to cut ties anyway.
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