The report from ESPN states that this discovery process began after the university could not corroborate McElwain’s claims that players and family members received death threats earlier this week during a press conference.
The report from Aschoff and Schlabach also notes that UF believes they can fire him with cause, which would take them off the hook for the buyout they owe him otherwise.
After failing to find any evidence to substantiate claims made by McElwain this week that family and players received death threats, Florida administrators have worked to see if McElwain's allegations were enough to relieve the university from paying McElwain's full buyout of $12.9 million if he were to be fired.
Sources told ESPN that they believe the university has enough cause to fire McElwain without having to pay his buyout. Sources also said that if McElwain were to be relieved of his duties, defensive coordinator Randy Shannon would be asked to be the team's interim coach.
Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times added that he heard skepticism to UF’s claim.
I've been told that they don't think they can. https://t.co/LL6zhycNr6— Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) October 28, 2017
The rumor mill on this has been spinning wildly on Saturday. Reports of buyout discussion were unearthed earlier Saturday morning by Florida’s 247Sports site. On the CBS broadcast of the Gators’ matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs, sideline reporter Allie LaForce remarked that Scott Stricklin assured him no discussions of that ilk were being made.
Of course, as the old saying goes... Where theres’s smoke, there’s fire. And there’s a whole heck of a lot of smoke right now. We’ll have to see how this one plays itself out. But things appear to be coming to a head rather quickly here.