Florida coach Jim McElwain asked to step down, accept smaller buyout

Map of game day parking

ESPN confirmed Sunday afternoon that Florida and McElwain were officially parting ways. Yesterday, rumors began to swirl about McElwain's future and Florida exploring the possibility of firing him with cause, and AD Scott Stricklin attempted to quiet them nearly immediately.

Matt Hayes, senior college football writer for Bleacher Report, citing a source, said Sunday on Twitter that "Spurrier reached out twice to McElwain this fall to offer help, and was told no thanks".

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Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin denied Saturday that the school had "any conversations" with the coach or his representatives "regarding a buyout of his contract", but those talks will presumably begin soon.

The news comes a day after another tough result for the unranked Gators (3-4, 3-3 SEC), who were dismantled 42-7 by then-No. The Gators have lost three in a row to LSU, Texas A&M, and UGA after starting the season with a 3-1 record.

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Earlier this week, McElwain was the subject of criticism after he made comments about receiving death threats, and when asked to give some more details, was reportedly unable to. If the Gators go that route, McElwain could opt to contest whether UF has grounds to fire him from cause, which could lead to a court battle.

His 19 wins entering the 2017 season were the second most by any SEC coach in 2015 and '16.

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A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Florida is parting ways with coach Jim McElwain a day after a third consecutive loss and almost a week after he said players and families had received death threats. He is pictured on October 14, 2017 in Gainesville, Florida.

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