Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF Coach Rips Players after Win; McElwain Especially Critical of Taylor after Gesture Led to Penalty

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF Coach Rips Players after Win; McElwain Especially Critical of Taylor after Gesture Led to Penalty

Article excerpt

Byline: Graham Hack

GAINESVILLE | Minutes after a 31-24 victory over East Carolina on Saturday night, Florida coach Jim McElwain walked up to the podium to speak with the media. He didn't need any prompting. He knew what he wanted to say.

"Guys, that was embarrassing," he said. "We didn't deserve to win the ball game.

"Our lack of playing with discipline and understanding how to play the game crept up and it was embarrassing."

The first-year coach went on to call out his team again and again throughout the nine-minute press conference for selfish penalties and undisciplined behavior, using the words embarrassing and unacceptable in nearly every sentence.

His frustration was further evidenced when he cut off a reporter's question about where the team had trouble.

"We had trouble all day," McElwain interrupted. "I mean, no kidding. Boy that was obvious. You must have watched the game."

His frustration boiled over during the game, too, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade directed at junior running back Kelvin Taylor, who earned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for making a throat slashing gesture at the end of a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The video of the incident went viral shortly after the game's conclusion, summoning memories of former coach Will Muschamp's notorious fits of rage on the sidelines.

McElwain didn't address the incident directly, but indicated that he will do whatever it takes to make sure his team realizes it can't behave like it did on Saturday.

"Part of it is you can't enable the behavior to happen continuously," he said. "You've got to teach them. It's not OK.

"It's not OK to act that way. It's not OK to call attention to yourself when the selfish act hurts the whole team. It's not OK."

McElwain also said he noticed a change in the team's attitude this week when 30 players showed up without taping their ankles before practice, and he felt a performance like this was coming. …

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