Florida football coach Jim McElwain revealed Monday that his family and players have received death threats amid the program's 3-3 start.
"There's a lot of hate in this world, and a lot of anger," McElwain told reporters during his weekly news conference in Gainesville. "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's brought upon out there."
McElwain would not go into detail about the nature of the threats, but he said they are a "testament to what's going on out there nationally."
"A lot of angry people," he said. "In this business, we're the ones that you take the shots at. That's the way it is."
Asked how serious the threats were, McElwain said he was not planning to contact law enforcement.
A spokesman for UF police department said they have not received any information regarding threats made against McElwain, his family or players.
The university's athletic department released a statement hours later saying officials met with McElwain and that the coach "offered no additional details.''
"The University Athletic Association takes the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and families very seriously,'' a spokesman said. "Our administration met with Coach McElwain this afternoon and he offered no additional details.''
McElwain said he is not shocked by the level of vitriol among fans but took exception to the messages directed at players and families connected to the team.
"At the same time," he said, "they know what they signed up for as well."
Florida cornerback Chauncey Gardner also addressed the threats, saying, "Let 'em talk. That's all they've been doing. That's all they'll keep doing."
Gardner added that a lot of people want to see the Gators lose.
The unranked Gators have struggled with injuries and been hampered by suspensions this season. Florida is coming off back-to-back losses to LSU and Texas A&M in which the offense failed to score more than 20 points in either game.
"There are no excuses," McElwain said. "You take advantage of every opportunity you're given. ... We expect to win, and we'll continue that moving forward. But like I said, I like these guys. They come to work every day."
He added: "Credit in this business is internal, never external."
Florida sits second in the SEC East, and Saturday's game against unbeaten and No. 3-ranked Georgia represents a pivotal point in the Gators' season.
"It's a chance for us to go get better," McElwain said.
McElwain said offensive playmakers Kadarius Toney and Tyrie Cleveland are still being evaluated while they are recovering from injuries. The coach also reiterated that redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks will continue to start at quarterback.