Thursday, December 14, 2017
Colleges

Florida’s Jim McElwain regrets going public with report of death threats

Two days after inciting a controversy, Florida coach Jim McElwain said he regrets going public with the charge that death threats had been leveled against people associated with his football program.

"It’s just something that came up and obviously was on my mind," McElwain told reporters Wednesday. "It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it right to air that laundry."

McElwain first brought up the threats, unprovoked, during his usual Monday news conference but didn’t give any details — either to reporters or the UF administration.

He shared a little more Wednesday. McElwain said there were one or two anonymous threats, but he wouldn’t say who they were directed toward. McElwain said he would share more "when it becomes unmanageable."

Local authorities — including the University of Florida Police Department, Gainesville Police Department and Florida Department of Law Enforcement — said they have received no reports of threats against anyone associated with the program, nor have they been asked to assist in any such investigations. UFPD public information officer Brad Barber said his department reached out to the University Athletic Association on Monday and offered to assist, if necessary, but it has not increased its security around the program.

McElwain said his comments Monday came after he let outside noises bother him — something he regularly warns his players against.

"It’s letting one or two — who even knows who — get into you and not recognize how great our fan base is," he said.

Athletic director Scott Stricklin and executive associate athletic director Laird Veatch met with McElwain on Monday, after he first mentioned the threats in his news conference. The athletic department released a statement that evening that said "he offered no additional details" — a carefully crafted line that suggested McElwain was not forthcoming about the matter.

"I don’t really quite understand what even the statement was," McElwain said. "We visited with Scott and Laird and, yeah, they were really good and supportive."

Gators, Seminoles updates

McElwain said WR Tyrie Cleveland (ankle) and Kadarius Toney (shoulder) are both probable for Saturday’s game against No. 3 Georgia. … Florida State WR George Campbell will miss the rest of the season with the same core muscle injury that sidelined him in 2016. The redshirt sophomore and former five-star recruit at East Lake High had six catches for 122 yards. … Seminoles WR Keith Gavin (leg) continues to be sideline and will miss Friday night’s game at Boston College.

Missing Sherit

McElwain continues to praise DL Jordan Sherit, the Hillsborough High alumnus who had successful hip surgery after suffering the season-ending injury two weeks ago against Texas A&M.

"He’s such a team leader and a guy who was really playing well," McElwain said. "You know, we miss him already."

Times correspondent Matt Brannon contributed to this report. Contact Matt Baker at [email protected] Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

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