Florida coach Jim McElwain denies taking nude photo with shark

By Alex Butler  |  May 10, 2017 at 6:17 PM
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May 10 (UPI) -- Florida football coach Jim McElwain spoke with reporters Tuesday and denied that he is the man posing nude with a shark in a viral photo.

McElwain, 55, met with the media before speaking at Emerson Hall. He spoke and took photos with fans at Titletown Gator Club after the short press conference.

"Well, first and foremost, I don't know who it is, but it isn't me,'' the coach said, according to the Gators website.

He was then asked about how quickly the photo went viral and the scenario overall.

"I guess that's for you guys to answer,'' he said. "You know, in the world we live, what is a story? I just know this: it isn't me."

The viral photo featuring a naked man straddling a (presumably) dead shark on the floor of a boat has captured the attention of many critics on the internet. The man has a strong resemblance to the coach, but has not yet been identified.

Wildlife conversationalist and TV host Anneka Svenska posted the original tweet and photo last week. It has more than 1,000 retweets and 600 likes.

McElwain was hired in 2015 by the Gators. He owns a 19-8 record at the school and is 1-1 in bowl games. The Gators beat Iowa 30-3 on Jan. 2 in the 2017 Outback Bowl. McElwain is paid about $4.3 million annually.

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