Earlier today, the NCAA released a statement announcing that Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd could not play in week 2 and that he would have to repay $2,700 to a charity in order to regain his eligibility. Florida had already declared him ineligible for week 1 while they awaited the NCAA's ruling.
The issue at hand relates to Floyd's upbringing. Floyd grew up in Philly, without parents, dirt poor, rough times. He lived with 10 other kids in his great grandmother's apartment. Earlier this year, Sharrif brought it to Florida's attention that while in high school, he accepted food and other handouts from some individuals and charitable organizations in Philly. None of these people were boosters, agents, or in any way affiliated with the University of Florida.
Initially, Jeremy Foley, the AD at Florida, issued a statement that we would characterize as follows:
Sharrif is an outstanding young man. He alerted us to this matter and we reported it; but we were comfortable that there were no violations here. Sharrif grew up in an environment lacking basic items such as food, shelter and clothing. Kind people helped him survive. We are disappointed with the NCAA's action; but we will move forward....
Muschamp refused to be so politically correct and just spoke his mind. Here is the full version of Muschamp's release.
"I'm angered, disgusted and extremely disappointed that Sharrif will have to miss two games.
In my opinion Sharrif is getting lumped into what is bad about college athletics. As we indicated in the statement Saturday night his issue was not related to sports agents, University of Florida boosters or his recruitment to Florida or anywhere else.
Sharrif is what is good about college athletics — his life is about survival, struggle, disappointment and adversity. 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. The NCAA stated that he received preferential treatment; there is nothing preferential about his life.
He grew up with only his great grandmother and still sends her Pell Grant money so she can pay her bills. 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, as I said before, 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 that I had to tell Sharrif that he could not play in our game vs. FAU last week. I took away part of his family.
He had tears in his eyes and said “What have I done wrong?” 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.”
Not only did Muschamp just lay the wood on the NCAA, but he completely endeared himself to his players and probably to every recruit in the country.
Very unfortunate situation for Sharrif; but the Florida football program just got stronger.