Florida Gators dispute talk of Jim McElwain buyout negotiations
JACKSONVILLE - The ongoing off-field drama surrounding the Florida Gators has continued to game day.
Athletic director Scott Stricklin disputed a report Saturday that UF and coach Jim McElwain's agent have negotiated a buyout that would end his Gators career.
"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 in a statement. "Our focus is on this great Florida-Georgia rivalry today in Jacksonville."
In the press box moments ago, Stricklin said he won't be adding anything to his statement today. But the fact that he needed to say anything at all, less than four hours before one of the SEC's biggest rivalry games says a lot about the program's state and week.
On Monday, McElwain made headlines when he said people associated with his program have received death threats. That was news, apparently, to his administrators, who pressed for details. McElwain didn't provide any - which UF made a point to mention in a carefully worded statement that evening.
Two days later, McElwain expressed regret for publicly mentioning the threats in the first place.
Then on Thursday, the State Attorney's Office announced that seven of the nine suspended players (including standout receiver Antonio Callaway and running back Jordan Scarlett) will get pre-trial intervention in a credit card fraud scandal.
Oh, and there's a game today. The Gators are a double-digit underdog against undefeated, No. 3 Georgia.