There is no question the expectations are high every year in Gainesville, and this season, the Gators have taken their lumps with three losses already. Now, you add to it the bitter rivalry game with Georgia coming in Jacksonville this Saturday, and as you can imagine there’s some angst and even, some venom.
But, death threats?
During his weekly Monday news conference, the third year Gators coach was asked the pressure to win not only on him but the players, his assistants, etc. and that’s when he answered, “there’s a lot of hate in this world, a lot of anger…..the hard part is the threats against your players. The death threats against your families.” He continued, “….there’s a lot of angry people out there and we’re the ones you take the shots at.”
McElwain meant that last part in the figurative sense.
There was a follow up question about expecting the “level of vitriol” from fans towards the coach and his family and McElwain responded, “you’re in the business. That’s all part of it. You get it. But when it’s directed towards your players….. families, your wives, that kind of thing, but at the same time,…..they now what they signed up for, as well. That’s all part of the business.”
You can hear the full comments on the subject from his presser starting at around the 14:00 mark on this replay:
While McElwain would not elaborate on specifics, this goes beyond just fans, alumni, etc. being frustrated and lashing out on social media or a call-in post game radio show.
There is no follow up yet on whether Gainesville police, or any other authorities have been alerted and brought in to investigate or determine the source(s) of any threats of harm towards Gator coach’s families.
It appears that currently, McElwain is willing to press on and just coach his team.
And after back to back losses at home to LSU and last time out to Texas A & M, Florida has its hands full with unbeaten Georgia.
Still, there’s no mistaking, when a prominent college coach brings up “death threats,” in an otherwise ordinary start of the week news conference, it’s a big deal.
We will obviously continue to monitor and update.
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