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Jim McElwain says he, Florida players have received death threats

At 3-3, Florida is off to its worst start during Jim McElwain’s tenure as head coach. The Gators have dropped their last two games and have a tough task with No. 3 Georgia coming into Gainesville on Saturday.

Needless to say, UF fans aren’t very happy with the way things are going so far in 2017, and they are apparently letting McElwain — and his assistant coaches and players — hear about it.

During his Monday news conference, McElwain told reporters that there have been threats, including death threats, made against he and his family. It’s gotten really ugly.

“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 [are] against your own players, the death threats to your families, the ill will that is brought upon out there. I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament of what’s going on out there nationally,” McElwain said.

“A lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at and that’s the way it is.”

McElwain did not offer specifics about the level of threats he has received and said he was not planning to report them to local law enforcement.

In response to McElwain’s comments, Florida released a statement:

“The University Athletic Association takes the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and families very seriously. Our administration met with coach McElwain this afternoon and he offered no additional details.”

Florida has dealt with a bevy of suspensions and injuries and have struggled offensively for a third straight season. The Gators have overcome the offensive issues the last two years and won the SEC East crown. With Georgia (7-0) undefeated, that looks extremely unlikely. McElwain, who has a 22-11 (16-7 SEC) understands the vitriol for the team’s underwhelming play, but does not appreciate when things get directed at his players.

“It is what it is,” McElwain said. “It’s when it’s directed toward your players, when it’s directed toward families, wives, that kind of thing. At the same time, they know what they signed up for as well. That’s part of the business.”

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!