NCAA will review Floyd's eligibility


Florida's Sharrif Floyd during University of Florida Football Media Day Friday, August 5, 2011.

Doug Finger/Staff Photographer
Published: Monday, September 5, 2011 at 10:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 5, 2011 at 10:09 p.m.

Sophomore defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, whom Florida declared ineligible before Saturday's season opener, is scheduled to have a hearing on Tuesday with the NCAA, according to Floyd's high school coach.

The University Athletic Association released a statement just before Saturday's kickoff which said Floyd "is not eligible to compete until his eligibility is reinstated by the NCAA. We have been and will continue to work with the NCAA until this matter is resolved. This is an issue that is not related to sports agents, University of Florida boosters or his recruitment to Florida."




After the game and again on Monday, coach Will Muschamp declined to address the issue.

"He's fine," Muschamp said Monday afternoon. "I have no comment on that right at this point."

Ron Cohen, head coach at Philadelphia George Washington since 1985, said Monday he did not know the reason for Floyd's eligibility issues.

"I've spoken to Sharrif," Cohen said. "Of course he's befuddled by a lot of this.

"I don't know anything about how (the hearing) works. I was asked certain questions (by the NCAA) a long time ago and gave answers that I could. In fact, I'm now writing a letter to the NCAA. I was asked to do that and tell the story of Sharrif and the life that he has lived and what we've done here at Washington High School and I've done as a head coach for him."

Cohen, 68, said he spoke to the NCAA in January and answered questions about Floyd's character and the high school's bake sale fundraiser that helped to pay for Floyd's travel to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl scouting combine in January 2009.

"If that's what it is they're going to make a fool of themselves," Cohen said. "I'll lose all respect for them as a governing body. But I don't know. I guess I'll know more (Tuesday)."

Cohen speculated that Floyd's present issue could be related to his recruitment by North Carolina, which was recently under NCAA investigation. The Tar Heels fired head coach Butch Davis this past summer amid allegations of improper benefits and academic misconduct. UNC defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator John Blake, who resigned in September 2010, had forged a close relationship with Floyd.

"(Blake) and I have a great relationship," Floyd told Scout.com of his recruitment in January 2009. "We talk on a daily basis."

In its investigation, the NCAA said Blake took money to steer players to close friend and NFL agent Gary Wichard.

"It's sad," Cohen said. "I tried to warn him about people. It's a whirlwind for kids. It's a whirlwind for a coach.

"I didn't really know (Blake) that well. When he came to recruit Sharrif he didn't spend much time with me for whatever reason. Other coaches that came — Florida coaches, Ohio State coaches, South Carolina coaches, Penn State coaches, USC coaches — all came first class. It was a great experience for Sharrif and for me."

Floyd chose to sign with Florida over Ohio State and North Carolina. He came to UF rated the No. 4 prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. As a true freshman in 2010, Floyd played in all 13 games, started two and was named to the coaches' Freshman All-SEC team.

Contact Jeff Barlis at (352) 374-5066 or barlisj@gvillesun.com and follow at http://Twitter.com/JeffBarlis.

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