As Day 2 of Florida’s pursuit of Jim McElwain begins to wind down, so could the university’s search for a new head football coach.
While there is nothing official, most signs continue to point to the current Colorado State head coach taking the same job at Florida, although the drawn-out process has left some uncertain. UF officials flew to Fort Collins Tuesday and met with McElwain for several hours. Talks continued on into Wednesday, with the sticking point appearing to be the $7.5 million buyout contained in the contract McElwain signed in August.
There has been speculation that UF is attempting to bargain the buyout number down by offering to play a future game at the home of the Rams; it’s unknown if that, or any other tactic, has worked. According to the Orlando Sentinel‘s source, a buyout reduction isn’t going to happen.
The only acknowledgement the university has made when it comes to the pursuit is this tweet.
We’ve had very productive conversations with Coach McElwain and his wife Karen and those continue.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) December 3, 2014
UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and the other university officials in the traveling party have boarded a plane that is expected to land in Gainesville around 7 p.m. ET tonight. Whether McElwain is onboard is unknown, although at least two reports state he’s not.
— Lauren DiSpirito (@LaurenDiSpirito) December 3, 2014
Colorado State’s Jim McElwain not on UF plane to Gainesville, sources told @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 3, 2014
The fact that McElwain may not be on the plane doesn’t signal doom for his candidacy — there are myriad reasons why he wouldn’t fly back, chief among them being he wanted to assemble and address his team first — but it’s certainly a data point to keep an eye on.