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Florida AD: No buyout discussed with coach Jim McElwain or reps

This Sept. 2, 2017, file photo shows then-Florida head coach Jim McElwain watching his team warm up before an NCAA college football game against Michigan, in Arlington, Texas. McElwain was hired by the Wolverines to coach their wide receivers. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
This Sept. 2, 2017, file photo shows then-Florida head coach Jim McElwain watching his team warm up before an NCAA college football game against Michigan, in Arlington, Texas. McElwain was hired by the Wolverines to coach their wide receivers. (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin says the school has not had any conversations with embattled coach Jim McElwain or his representatives regarding a contract buyout.

Stricklin’s statement Saturday was in response to a tweet from a sports lawyer that quoted an anonymous source saying Florida and agent Jimmy Sexton have engaged in buyout negotiations and are “miles apart.”

“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.”

The sports lawyer, Darren Heitner, also tweeted that Florida has called boosters to pool money in anticipation of hiring a new coach.

McElwain, a former quarterback and assistant coach at Eastern Washington, created a firestorm Monday when he said Florida players and families received death threats amid the team’s struggles. School administrators, including Stricklin, met with McElwain in hopes of gathering more information and helping alleviate any safety concerns. McElwain rebuffed their efforts, prompting a statement from the athletic department that essentially criticized McElwain for being uncooperative.

McElwain backtracked a bit on Wednesday but stopped short of apologizing and again refused to provide details about the threats.

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