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Florida, Jim McElwain have “mutually agreed to part ways,” school announces

It’s officially official.

NCAA Football: Florida Spring Game Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

After a day dotted with reports of Jim McElwain’s firing, the Florida Gators have finally officially confirmed it — though their official release terms it differently.

Jim McElwain and the University Athletic Association have mutually agreed to part ways, Athletic Director Scott Stricklin announced Sunday.

Randy Shannon will serve as interim coach throughout the remainder of the season.

"We want to thank Coach McElwain for his efforts in leading the Gator football program," said Stricklin. "We are confident Coach Shannon will provide the proper guidance to the players and rest of staff during this time and we will begin a national search for the next head coach."

The two parties are currently negotiating terms of separation.

None of the release — which is those four paragraphs and some biographical info on McElwain and Shannon, and nothing more — is a surprise, nor is Florida straining to avoid calling their firing of McElwain a firing. To my knowledge, Florida never publicly termed its firing of Will Muschamp in 2014 a firing, either.

But it’s telling that Florida’s release includes the detail that it and McElwain are still “negotiating terms of separation,” something they have reportedly been doing at least since Sunday morning, if not earlier this week. That suggests that while there may be an agreement on a settlement that finds a middle ground between the full buyout contractually due to McElwain and a legal battle in which Florida might be able to argue McElwain’s talk of death threats this week amounted to grounds for a firing, the precise terms of the settlement might still be out of reach.