Honeymoon over? McElwain criticized for not being forthcoming with media
That didn’t take long.
Associated Press Florida Gators reporter Mark Long criticized new Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain for not answering questions. Specifically, Long cited McElwain’s act following questions regarding quarterback Will Grier taking the first snap at Gator spring practice this week.
During a radio interview in Jacksonville (you can listen here), Long said the following:
“Right now, to me, he’s a used car salesman and I have a hard time believing anything he says because I don’t find him genuine. This is not a big secret, I’ve said it before….everybody in the media corps – I’m not the only one who feels like this, we all get this sense that he doesn’t answer questions. It’s unbelievably frustrating.”
While calling McElwain a used car salesman might be a little much, it reveals the tension between coaches and media that is quite normal. Perhaps what is a big deal is how quickly the relationship between the Florida reporters (at least some of them) and the new coach has soured.
The Florida QB situation will be the No. 1 topic in Gainesville for the foreseeable future, so McElwain should be prepared for these questions. However, in the interview, Long also cited what might be the ultimate reason for McElwain’s coyness. Long speculated that if Grier is going to be named the starter, it would make sense for Treon Harris to transfer to another school. Harris transferring would put the Gators in quite a bind with regards to QB depth. A quarterback competition or at least the illusion of it could help keep both guys on the roster for the 2015 season.
McElwain’s early days in Gainesville will be scrutinized greatly and the incident is an early reminder that college football in Gainesville is not college football in Fort Collins.