PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Florida coach Jim McElwain created headlines Monday when he revealed that unspecified members of his program and/or their families had received death threats.
McElwain has declined to offer details about the threats, first during his news conference Monday and later during the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday. Florida’s University Athletic Association issued a statement that said McElwain “offered no additional details” to the organization.
On Friday, former Florida coach Steve Spurrier spoke to SEC Country about the situation, and said he never received death threats during his time leading the Gators from 1990 to 2001.
“No, we never had anything like that,” Spurrier said after participating in Danny Wuerffel’s Desire Cup at TPC Sawgrass.
When asked how he would handle the situation, Spurrier said he would be aggressive in communicating with police.
“If it was serious, and he had the person and the phone number, you would turn their butts in to the police,” Spurrier said. “But I guess the threat came in somehow where they couldn’t recognize anybody, so I’m not sure how it all happened. There has not been a lot of description about it, so I think it’s just something in the past now.”
SEC Country also asked Wuerffel, a former Gators quarterback, if he received death threats while playing at Florida from 1993-96.
“No,” he said. “Nothing like that, that I can recall. A few unkind letters here or there. But no.”
McElwain’s comments came up Monday after he received a question about whether his players deserve credit for their resilience while facing multiple obstacles. He began by saying, “Credit in this business is internal. It’s never external. I think it’s a pretty good kind of 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.”
Florida plays Georgia on Saturday in Jacksonville.