(SP) – Florida Gators head football coach Jim McElwain admitted tonight that he is the man picture in a viral photo of a naked man laying on top of a shark. McElwain had denied he was the man in the photo until the shark came forward with evidence that it is carrying McElwain’s sharkboy.

“I had hoped this would remain a private matter,” McElwain said, wiping tears from his eyes as he read a statement. “But it is true that after a day of drinking while out fishing, I made a terrible mistake and impregnated a shark. I feel it is my duty as a man to acknowledge my shark-child and support it in whatever way I can, on land or in the sea. Beyond that, I hope you all can respect my privacy and the privacy of the shark and the sharkboy growing inside of her.”

University of Florida officials say they will stick by McElwain and that he is in no danger of losing his job.

“We believe in Jim and we are glad that he is doing the right thing in regards to the shark person he conceived,” said Florida director of athletics Scott Stricklin. “Everyone makes mistakes. If we all lost our job the first time we made a mistake, none of us would be employed.”

Stricklin also admitted he is intrigued by the “shark man beast” that McElwain has fathered.

“Is this thing is as ferocious as a shark and can run on legs, we’re looking at a recruit the Florida Gators would love to have in uniform,” he said. “Jim can get naked with all the sharks he wants if he delivers us a national championship.”

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