Florida Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will miss two (minor) games for accepting impermissible benefits according to the NCAA. Thursday, shortly after the NCAA announced the punishment, university athletic director Jeremy Foley issued an interesting statement on the matter:
It is important to note that Sharrif brought this matter to our attention and we reported the facts to the NCAA this past February. We were comfortable with the information we provided, yet the NCAA staff interpreted that there were violations. In accordance with NCAA rules, we declared him ineligible for the season opener and requested restoration of his eligibility. Sharrif has been extremely forthcoming throughout the process and the NCAA has commented on his honesty and openness.
Sharrif grew up in an environment where he didn't have the things most of us take for granted - food, shelter and clothing. In the absence of parents, there were kind people, in no way affiliated with the University of Florida, who were not boosters or sports agents, that helped him along the way to provide those things that he would otherwise not have had. This is not an issue about his recruitment to the University of Florida or any other University.
Sharrif Floyd is an outstanding young man and we are very proud that he represents our program. We are all disappointed that he had to deal with this situation, but he will move forward and be stronger for this.
Though Floyd was heavily recruited by Miami and UNC, any potential connections to those two basement fires look to have been avoided, based on Foley's statement. A pretty strong show of support from one of the country's most powerful athletic directors, to say the least.
For more, visit Florida Gators blog Alligator Army.