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The full context on Jim McElwain's death threats comments




As I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times, Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain said death threats have been made against people connected to his program.

That, sadly, would not surprise me. I was threatened for covering the Jameis Winston scandal. Coaches get vitriol, too.

The athletics department released a statement Monday evening that said administrators met with McElwain, but he "offered no additional details" to them, either.

OK then.

Here's the full context of McElwain's comments. He was asked first about how his team has continued to fight, despite the suspensions, injuries and everything else. Then he was asked this follow-up question:

Q: Don't the coaching staff, coaches, these guys deserve some credit for hanging in there?

McElwain: "Credit in this business is internal, it's never external. You know, I think ... it's ... you know a good lesson for the way things are. There's a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger and yet it's freedom to show it. The hard part is obviously when the threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that's brought upon out there, and yet I think it's really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what's going on out there nationally. A lot of angry people. In in this business we're the ones they take the shots at and that's the way it is."

Not the response I was expecting. I wasn't alone there. Here's the next snippet:

Q: Death threats?
McElwain: "Mmmhmmm."

Q: Can you expand?

McElwain was then asked if he was "shocked by the level of the vitriol."

McElwain: "No, here's the one thing. You're in the business, that's all part of it. You get it. When it's directed towards your players, when it's directed to families, wives, that kind of thing ... and yet at the same time they know what they signed up for as well. That's part of the business."

The news conference turned back to football but returned to the threats twice more. McElwain was asked if he, personally, had received a threat. He shook his head and said, "Let's move (on)."

The final question was how the threats were communicated and if they felt the need to turn them over to law enforcement.

McElwain: "Nah. It is what it is."

There were no more questions, and McElwain left the same way he usually does.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 9:01am]


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