Floyd must sit out one more game, repay $2,700
Published: Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
The NCAA ruled Thursday that Florida sophomore defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd must sit out one more game and repay approximately $2,700 to a charity before he is eligible to compete again.
Floyd will miss Saturday's game against UAB. He was ruled ineligible by the NCAA before the opener last Saturday against Florida Atlantic.
In a statement released by UF, Florida coach Will Muschamp reacted angrily to the NCAA ruling, saying, “the NCAA stated that he received preferential treatment; there is nothing preferential about his life."
“He grew up with only his great grandmother (in the Philadelphia area) and still sends her Pell Grant money so she can pay her bills,” Muschamp said. “How many kids do you know that would do that.? I know one — Sharrif Floyd.
“I want to make it clear that this issue is not about sports agents, Florida boosters or his recruitment to Florida or anywhere else. The issue is about his survival and the only reason the NCAA, the SEC and the University of Florida were aware of these issues is because Sharrif brought them to our attention last February. He came forward because he is honest and because of his integrity.
“The toughest day that I have had as a head football coach at Florida was the day I had to tell Sharrif that he could not play in our game against FAU. I took away part of his family.”
UF declared Floyd ineligible for violation of NCAA preferential treatment rules last Saturday, including receiving $2,500 cash over several months from an individual not associated with the university, the NCAA said.
According to the NCAA, Floyd used the money for living expenses, transportation and other expenses. The NCAA said Floyd also received improper benefits prior to enrollment, including transportation and lodging during unofficial recruiting trips to other schools.
The NCAA said the penalty could have been a four-game suspension, but “based on mitigating circumstance in the case the condition was reduced” to two games. The NCAA said the circumstances included his personal hardship that led to benefits from someone other than a family member or guardian.
“We examine each situation carefully and consider all elements related to a student-athlete's individual circumstances and the violation,” said Kevin Lennon, vice president of academic and membership affairs. “This gives us the flexibility to tailor the conditions of reinstatement that take into account all details and are in the best interest of the involved student-athlete.”
If Floyd can repay the approximately $2,700 between now and next Saturday, his eligibility will be restored by the NCAA in time for the Gators' SEC opener against Tennessee.
The penalty is too severe, Muschamp said.
“Sharrif is what is good about college athletics — his life is about survival, struggle, disappointment and adversity,” Muschamp said. “I have recruited kids that did not know where they would sleep that night or what they would eat. Growing up, Sharrif was one these kids. Sharrif's life is also about triumph, honesty, integrity, determination, perseverance and character.”
Muschamp said telling Floyd he could not play in the opener was a hard thing to do.
“He had tears in his eyes and said, ‘What have I done wrong?' “ Muschamp said. “I told him he did nothing wrong. It wasn't any easier to tell him today that he would be missing Saturday's game.
“I have two sons at home. If they end up like Sharrif, I will consider myself a successful father."