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Report: Florida Investigating Whether It Can Fire Jim McElwain Without Paying Buyout

Jim McElwain’s dishonesty about alleged death threats has Florida examining all options. 

Florida administrators are trying to determine if they can fire head coach Jim McElwain without paying his $12.9 million buyout, ESPN’s Edward Aschoff and Mark Schlabach report

Officials believe they may be able to fire McElwain with cause after they were unable to confirm McElwain’s claims made earlier this week that he and his staff have been subjected to death threats, according to the report. McElwain admitted on Wednesday that threats he referred to were made “in the past” and that he was wrong to mention it. 

“It’s just something that came up and obviously was on my mind,” the coach said. “It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it right to air that laundry.”

ESPN reports that Florida administrators believe McElwain’s dishonesty has given the school “enough cause to fire McElwain without having to pay his buyout.” Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times reports, however, that Florida does not believe it can fire McElwain with cause. 

McElwain’s Gators were blown out by Georgia on Saturday to drop to 3–4 on the season.