Notebook: Floyd handles NCAA penalties

Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.

Florida defensive end Sharrif Floyd has met the NCAA's requirements to regain his eligibility and will play in Saturday's game against Tennessee, UF coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.

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UF coach Will Muschamp praised defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer

Floyd was ruled ineligible for the first two games for receiving improper benefits. In its ruling last week, the NCAA required Floyd to pay a charity $2,700 before he could regain his eligibility.

Muschamp said a payoff plan is in place.

“They've handled that. He's playing,” Muschamp said. “He's handled it.”

Muschamp said he did not know what charity the money will go to.

“It will be a good one, though,” he said.

Muschamp defended Floyd last week when the NCAA announced its ruling. He had more good things to stay about the true sophomore Wednesday.

“He's a really good player and he's probably the most respected player in our locker room as far as how he handles himself on and off the field,” Muschamp said. “He's just a great young man. He's a guy who brings a lot of passion and energy to our locker room and football team.

“On top of all that, he's a really good football player. God has blessed him. He's very talented. He's as hard a working kid as we have on the football team.”

Floyd is expected to play both end and tackle for the Gators. He was considered UF's most dominant defensive lineman in preseason camp.

Demps good to go

Muschamp said senior tailback Jeff Demps has an injured upper shoulder, but will play in Saturday's game.

“He's fine. He's going to be fine,” Muschamp said. “He's been practicing.”

Muschamp said Demps' injury is not related to the shoulder injury he had a year ago.

Demps was injured in the first quarter of UF's win over UAB last Saturday and did not return.

Muschamp said earlier in the week that tight end Jordan Reed also is fine. He appeared to injure his ankle in Saturday's game.

Finley status uncertain

Muschamp would not reveal what linebacker Dee Finley's status is for Saturday's game. Finley was arrested Monday and charged with resisting arrest with violence and driving with a suspended license. The resisting charge was reduced to resisting without violence, a misdemeanor.

“I'm handling that,” Muschamp said. “We'll work through that. That's where we are.”

On his Twitter feed Wednesday, Finley wrote, “I apologize #GATORNATION … now watch bounce back.”

Friends turned foes

As expected, Muschamp and Tennessee coach Derek Dooley were asked about each other on the SEC coaches' teleconference Wednesday. The two are close friends who coached together on Nick Saban's staff at LSU.

“Derek is a very smart guy,” Muschamp said. “He's extremely hardworking and a very detail-oriented coach, and it obviously shows on tape with his football team.”

Dooley was asked if he had memories of going against Muschamp during LSU practices.

“I have a lot of memories, six years of them,” Dooley said. “He's got his team and he's in charge of everything now, not just the defense.

“I know his team is going to be well-prepared, very well-coached and they're going to play fast and hard and fundamentally sound and tough. It's going to be a big challenge because he's a good football coach.”

Extra points

Thompson revealed that he briefly lost consciousness when he was hit in the back of the helmet in Game 1. “Yeah, he knocked me out,“ Thompson said Wednesday. “It was just a quick blink out and came back.” Thompson said he did not have a concussion and returned to practice last Wednesday. … Dooley shook his head as he praised Florida's defensive line in his weekly press conference on Monday, saying, "This is going to be a big test for our o-line, because these guys across the board are as talented as any group in the country. They're good." ... While all eyes are focused on UT’s passing attack, Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn praised Tennessee’s running game on Wednesday, saying “This is a good matchup for us.” Vols tailback Tauren Poole is currently fourth in the SEC with 199 yards and a touchdown on 45 carries. … Quinn said injured cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee) has looked good in practice but still may not play on Saturday. … Gator legend Emmitt Smith will be at the Reitz Union UF Bookstore Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to promote his new book, "Game On: Find your purpose — Pursue your dream". Smith will only sign copies of the book bought at the UF Bookstore and not memorabilia.

Staff writer Jeff Barlis contributed to this report.

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