NCAA suspends Florida Gators DL Sharrif Floyd two games, forces repayment of $2,700

By Adam Silverstein
September 8, 2011

Updated at 7:30 p.m.

Florida Gators sophomore defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd has been suspended for two games and must “arrange repayment” of $2,700 to charity before he is eligible to return to the field, according to a decision handed down by the NCAA on Thursday.

Floyd, who sat out Florida’s Sept. 3 season opener against Florida Atlantic, will also be forced to miss Saturday’s game against UAB before he can return to action against Tennessee on Sept. 17 if all conditions are met.

The university declared Floyd ineligible for violations of NCAA preferential treatment rules, including receiving $2,500 cash over several months from an individual not associated with the university. Floyd used the money for living expenses, transportation and other expenses. In addition, he received impermissible benefits prior to enrollment, including transportation and lodging related to unofficial visits to several institutions. University of Florida was not one of these schools.

Based on the mitigating circumstances in the case, the withholding condition was reduced from a potential four games to two. In its decision, the reinstatement staff cited the totality of Floyd’s circumstances, including his personal hardship that led to the impermissible benefits being provided to the student-athlete by someone other than a legal guardian or family member.

NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon said the organization’s decision on Floyd came after great deliberation. “We examine each situation carefully and consider all elements related to a student-athlete’s individual circumstances and the violation,” he said. “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.”

University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley commented on Floyd’s situation in an official statement released by the school.

“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.”

Gators head coach Will Muschamp expressed his displeasure in the NCAA’s ruling in another official statement released by the school Thursday evening.

“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.”

The NCAA’s official statement on Floyd’s punishment does not specifically state where or from whom the $2,500 in preferential treatment came from.

When handing down a penalty, the organization takes into account “the type of violations and value of benefits, if a significant competitive advantage was gained, [and] the student-athlete’s responsibility for the violations.” The Gators took the proper steps and declared Floyd ineligible on their own before requesting reinstatement, an action that allowed the NCAA to review the request and form a decision.

Separate reports this week had the NCAA inquiring into arrangements Floyd had with his high school coach Ron Cohen and the Student Athlete Mentoring organization.


  1. sjkoepp says:

    After the complete farse that was the UM punishment (or lack there of), he gets a 2 game suspension and has to repay the money. I wish I knew more about all of this but I feel like it’s total BS.

  2. cline says:

    What a bummer. at least he can get back for UT if he can drum up the loot to pay the charity. I just don’t understand how they can expect him to come up with that kind of money all at one time?

  3. Razzlegator says:

    So where is this kid supposed to get $2700? Another bake sale? Sounds like another violation waiting to happen.

    • Gator05 says:

      Maybe an agent could loan him some money, or get a high paying job at a car dealership (if it’s like Oklahoma, he wouldn’t even have to show up).

  4. Gator05 says:

    According to (

    “arrange repayment of approximately $2,700”.

    Doesn’t sound like he actually has to pay it before he is eligible to play.

  5. Joe says:

    Has UM’s punishment been served? I don’t think the NCAA has ruled on the status of the UM program yet.

    At any rate, there is a serious problem with the way the NCAA is enforcing these types of violations. How is Floyd going to make $2,700 to pay back the NCAA when he couldn’t afford it in the first place? Doesn’t make much sense when the kid was struggling to make his visits.

    I’m not saying he was right or wrong; this just seems like a fundamental issue that has a ‘band aid’ resolution.

    I hope he uses these two games as motivation to put a hurt on Kentucky.

  6. Joe says:

    or Tenn…

  7. gatorlover says:

    so in other words, the ncaa only wants rich kids that are good at football to be able to go on visits. if it wasn’t for these people helping floyd he would be at some little community college right now, but instead he has the opportunity to play for the university of florida and someday make millions of dollars. come on now ncaa. try helping kids out that are less fortunate.

  8. David says:

    I feel bad for him because he is really poor.

  9. jay d says:

    Rediculous doesn’t do justice to what the ncaa just did to floyd…how bout they concentrate on real violations like giving recruits axcess to prostitutes…or putting bounties on rival schools star player…this kid was just trying to make it…just because our bastard step child of a school miami is breaking major rules doesn’t mean we are guilty for living in the same state…great job ncaa you really showed em who’s boss…..idiots!!

  10. Tom says:

    I live in Miami and have been forced to listen to hours of whining about how the poor Canes players were coerced to accept trips to strip joints, drinks and hookers, fishing trips, jewelry and on and on. The excuse repeated over and over ad nauseum was that the kids were poor and couldn’t afford what some seriously disturbed Canes fans claim are normal perks for football players.

    Contrast those heinous cases with what we think we know about Floyd. He is REALLY poor. He couldn’t afford to go to an Allstar game and his friend chipped in and sponsored him. His family has no money so some charitable souls contributed money for travel and who knows what other incidentals.

    Then, Floyd is totally up-front with the University and the NCAA and they drop this bomb on him? Everyone is asking the right question: where the heck does a kid who is legitimately needy go to find $2,700 for crying out loud????

    Dr. Machen: please, please take our super conference and dump the NCAA immediately if not sooner. They are out of control.

  11. Eric says:

    I have no problem with the NCAA ruling… if Floyd didnt have money to visit other schools.. then he shouldnt have traveled… period. Learned this mistake and move on… cant wait to see what he can do the field..

    • dr_ddennis says:

      Eric, So only rich kids should be able to make college visits? So much for the American dream. This kid came from nothing and is trying to make something for himself the right way. If that’s wrong, the NCAA needs to go out of business.

    • You are basically denying all the good acts of charity and individual help. With that logic, tons of people will starve and die. It was not like he asked for money. His friends volunteered to help with bake sale. They did not even use their parents’ money for help. Do you really want to live in a world where people should live by themselves without getting help, even when you do not have any parents?

  12. aaron says:

    Funny how the ncaa drops this on Floyd the year he becomes a starter

  13. Ken (CA) says:

    From someone who was around during the Charlie Pell Galen Hall years, it is things like this that make me proud to be a Gator. The kid had the class to self-report to the university that there could be an issue, and Jeremy Foley (best AD in america, bar none, no matter what folks from Oklahoma think), didn’t just sweep it under the rug as he easily could have, but had the integrity to do the right thing.

    As good as he is, we probably would never have seen him after next year anyway, but hearing now how hard up his family is, I have no doubt he will be 3 and out and next year will be his last. Hopefully we will do something special this year and next while these studs that were recruited the last couple of years really start coming into their own.

    • g8ter27 says:

      Hell Yeah!!!!! I liked Muschamp from day one but didn’t think he was perhaps the best hire, don’t get me wrong i thought he was a great hire, just wasn’t sure he was the best……I certainly do now. He really seems to care and his spirited personality isn’t just on the field….I love it. Go Floyd and Go Gators!!!

  14. SC_Gator says:

    Wait, so we evaluate the info and determined he did no wrong but the NCAA evaluates and both fines him 2,700 and suspends him 2 games? That’s a hell of a big difference. It’s also a great example of the NCAA smacking the have-not’s back down for daring to try and consider themselves on the same level of the haves.

  15. gator says:

    Life is tough boys man up, Sherrif will against Ten-A-sissyeeeeeeeeeee

  16. Gio Showtime says:


  17. SaraGator says:

    Wow, so we can’t help a kid financially for fear he might one day be a NCAA athlete?

    This is wrong is so many ways.

  18. Mr2Bits says:

    Here’s an interesting question – if Floyd got to hang out in nightclubs with hookers, would his sentence get reduced to 1 week like jacory?

  19. David says:

    I can say that I have a man crush on CWM. Way to speak your mind (and way to tell potential recruits that you have their back)

    • Ken (CA) says:

      That must have been updated and added in after I first read the info, I hadn’t seen his comments until i read yours. I agree with you though. Coach Foley is being proven right time and time again with his intuition on his hires. I’ll say the same thing I said when Meyer was announced, and hope it holds more true this time…I hope he is a coach here for a very l ong time to come, especially in a day when coaches really dont coach that long anymore. He is doing things the right way, Saying the right things, proving day in and day out that if the kids do things the right way as well he will always have their backs…now THAT truly is “the Florida Way”

  20. zurbo says:

    wow William…wow

  21. Ken (CA) says:

    Interesting, but irrelevant nugget at this point in the season. by statistical analysis, the NCAA has UF #1 in their first power rankings of the year….

  22. Tractorr says:

    Way to go CWM! I have never heard a coach come out with a statement like this. Most coaches only give the “we are disappointed but we are focusing on this week” response. This is a truly heartfelt response.

  23. Tom says:

    After reading Coach Muschamp’s release on OGGOA, I am now officially more pissed than I was before. Here’s your lesson Sharrif: life is unfair and people with power will punish you even if you do the right thing, so keep your mouth shut. It kills me to write it but it’s true.

  24. DC says:

    Coach Muschamp is a class act.

  25. John S says:

    Sharrif will be alright, his integrity will serve him well come draft day at the next level. He just became a poster child for NCAA inconsistency, and his story will gain a lot of attention. Glad it’s addressed now so in 2 weeks it’s behind him and everyone can move on.

    I dig Muschamp’s comments..starting to love this guy.

  26. Gold Man says:

    So who’s going to make a sign for saturday’s game suggesting that we SECede from NCAA tyranny? That’s the direction we’re going anyway with these superconferences.

  27. Tom says:

    I’m going to need some blood pressure medicine if I keep reading more about this story. So, Floyd is using his Pell grant money to support his grandmother? If the NCAA knew this fact and still imposed at $2,700 fine then they are douchebags and must be destroyed (figuratively).

  28. aziatic41 says:

    Everyone relax please. Sure the NCAA seems to have punished Sharrif unfairly but he’s only missing another meaningless game. We are going to crush UAB this weekend just like we did FAU. We will have Sharrif back and ready to go for the real games. Go Gators

    • Tom says:

      Do me a favor and read this story:

      I think you will agree that this kid is facing a serious injustice. How can a voluntary organization (the NCAA) exercise jurisdiction over a high school athlete to the extent that reasonable charitable assistance is prohibited. In coarser terms, who the f%$k do they think they are???

  29. caligator says:

    Timing is everything…the Vols WILL pay for this on the 17th. The SEC East is ours–GO GATORS!

  30. Gatorlover says:

    Are you serious?… Crushing Uab has nothing to do with it. They are taking away game time from a young man who has done nothing wrong.

  31. dp says:

    Adam…you are awfully quiet…how can I or we help Shariff? I am not an agent or have any affiliation with the university, pro sports or the NCAssholeAssociation. Can I send him money to help pay down this debt? Or is being a good person and helping someone in need an NCAA violation? What’s the most I can send individually without breaking any dumb f’ing rules?

    PS – Shariff I hope you read this…you are very loved and supported more now than ever by the Gator Nation and your day to shine and live a comfortable life will soon come. Keep your head up young man and be proud of what you have accomplished with the little material things you were dealt. I also have a young son and hope he is as honest, hard-working and determined as yourself…if he’s a badass defensive lineman that would be cool too!

    Go Gators!

    • I usually only comment in posts to make a correction, answer a question, clarify something or get a conversation going. You all are doing well on your own and it is your comment section, so I was just letting it be. Obviously this is a hot topic and I want everyone to be able to express themselves (which is what I want in every post though I know not all are as highly debatable).

      There is no helping Sharrif in this situation. He will have to arrange to make the payment one way or another. Since I doubt he can straight-up afford $2,700 in a one-payment scenario, I’m sure there will be a way that he can earn the money (part-time job in the offseason, work-for-pay with a charity) and pay it off over time.

  32. Jcbgator says:

    What will the NCAA do with the $2700?

  33. Jesse C says:

    First… Foley, Muschamp, Floyd… all represent UF, college athletics and society in a way that makes you proud to be witness to it. Second… At least, Floyd will be ready for UT when we’ll need him. Then he can release all that built up tension on the QB.
    Third… So, when I see the highschool kids selling candy to raise money for their football team outside Publix, I should warn them that it may be a violation? I hope none of those girl scouts plan to play sports in college. Where should we draw the line? The NCAA blew it on this one, shows their incompetence.

  34. Timmy T says:

    I hope whomever the Vols have line up against Sharrif next Saturday has a good, tight chinstrap, because I have a feeling Floyd is going to unleash his inner beast!!! GO GATORS!!

  35. SC Gator says:

    And that’s why we call him Coach BOOM. Along with a few other things, of course. It is wonderfully refreshing to hear any coach, much less our own coach, but completely up front and tell us exactly what he thinks about something. Let’s hope that never changes.

  36. CeeThree says:

    been really busy recently, trying to catch up on my OGGOA reading, was going to comment on this, or how much I loved Muschamp’s statement regarding it but..

    dang, 43 comments? is this some sort of record?

  37. Eli says:

    I’ll tell you what, I am a student at UF and if I were told that the money my parents and relatives had given me to go visit potential schools I wanted to apply to had to be repaid by me, I would file a lawsuit. There is very little difference in my eyes between that and the problem Sharrif is facing. I think it is absolutely ridiculous for a student-athlete to have to repay money that was intended to help him make a college decision. The gap is growing between the student and the athlete in the term student-athlete. I agree with the other posts that are hoping Sharrif’s frustration is taken out against Tennessee’s poor offensive line on the 17th.

    Also, anyone who does not read Muschamp’s comments and love him afterwards is crazy. Urban Meyer NEVER would have stood up for Floyd like Boom did. That kind of genuine care for his players is one of the many reasons Florida’s recruiting is going to do very well under Muschamp. Go Gators.

    • Hink says:

      Urban showed Jeremy Fowler (formerly of the Orlando Sentinel) and everyone else the way he would react to what he perceived as unfair treatment or characterization of his players.

    • scooterp says:

      I agreed with everything you said – right until you stabbed Meyer in the back. My, what short memories we have. You were WAY off base with that comment.

      • Eli says:

        Off-base as it may be, I just couldn’t see Meyer going into a two-minute defense like Muschamp did. I remember how he stood up for Deonte Thompson a few years back, and that was great. I loved Meyer as a coach. But saying something along the lines of “the toughest day I’ve had…was telling Sharrif he couldn’t play” says a lot to me. This isn’t comparing coaches. Like I said, Urban was incredible. But I just could not picture him giving so many words to an issue like this.

    • SaraGator says:

      Urban received a lot of heat from the media because he sticks up for his kids. Remember when you pretty much told Bianchi that he doesn’t deserve sideline access if he is going to talk trash about the Gators? Also, when he confronted Jeremy Fowler? I know a lot of us are glad that Urban have moved on, but the man deserves to respect from us.

      • Eli says:

        My comment about Urban was misconstrued. I have all the respect in the world for the guy. What Muschamp said just struck me as incredible and it really made me respect him more. Shouldn’t have even mentioned Urban. Go Gata

      • scooterp says:

        “Alot of us are glad that Urban has moved on ….” Really??? I wasn’t happy to see him leave. Good lord, two crystal trophies in 6 years then one 7-5 season and “alot” of fans are happy you’re out the door?

        • SaraGator says:

          Yes, it could have been ugly, but with him resigning it didn’t have to be. Coach Meyer did win 2 crystal balls and boosted the Gator nation to a higher level Most would say (myself included) that a resume like that he could keep his job forever. But his health was bothering him. And, let’s face it…he wasn’t the same last year and probably won’t ever be. He could have been a Paterno and milked our program to mediocrity. That’s why a lot of us are glad he resigned. Myself included. Mind you though… the man deserves a tremendous amount of respect. He won.. the right way.

    • CeeThree says:

      why do people always have to blast Urban to build up Will? I don’t get it, at all. We’re all on the same team here. He had one bad season, and if we have Sturgis healthy, we STILL win 10 games. Urban took this program to new heights, put it at the very top of the mountain. 2 national titles in 3 years, 3 13-1 seasons in 4 years, the first ever undefeated regular season.. he damn near gave his LIFE to UF.. and the media repeatedly BLASTED him for sticking by his players. You think anyone else would have stuck with Chris Rainey? Give me a break. The Urban hate from some Gators is utterly embarrassing.

      • scooterp says:

        Well we were undefeated in 95 regular season. But, agree with everything else………. I do remember how 4 years ago they were kick’n the ole ball coach to try and build up Urban and Spurrier changed the whole landscape of college football that is still felt today. The problem was Nebraska and FSU were peaking the same time we were, but he owned the SEC. Now he is almost a forgotten man. Never -ever forget where we came from. Both of those men deserve more respect than what I’m reading.

  38. g8ter27 says:

    Hink, I agree with you. I love WM’s reaction but Urban would have fought for his player as well. in fact, Zook did. Hell he would have shown up at the NCAA headquarters with some frat guys and called them out.

  39. Bradgator2 says:

    So he is in trouble for taking money from a charity while he was in high school? And his punishment is that he has to give money to a charity? Seems about par for the NCAA.

  40. Bradgator2 says:

    And while I am thinking about…. what happens if a church gives money and clothes to a poor high school athlete? It is only breaking the rules in the eyes of NCAA if that athlete plays Div1 football?

    And if boosters really start thinking about this… they will start “helping” kids that have signed with a rival school. And then they can admit to the NCAA 2 years later that they helped that kid. Woops.

  41. cline2574 says:

    What’s the record for comments to one post? This one has to be close

  42. CH says:

    This is sad – I can’t formulate words I’m so upset with the NCAA right now. The sooner these superconferences align and the NCAA and their false sense of empowerment are relinquished to ruling the directional state schools – the happier I will be.
    Mr. Foley – you are without question the best AD walking in this country. Please, listen to the fans and take the steps to rid a great university and dominating athletics from the NCAA’s madness and inequality.

  43. 95diehardgator says:

    I’m Floyd’s biggest fan now. NCAA continues to demonstrate their incompetence.

  44. Ken (CA) says:

    It just occured to me. Michael Oher was adopted by a rich family who knew he played football for the local high school. Maybe Ole Miss should have to vacate all it’s wins in games he played in because of the impermissable charitable benefits he received from a well off family who was able to help him out!

    • Mr2Bits says:

      His issue was worked out and settled before attending/declaring. Different boat than Floyd as it came to light while he was playing.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        It was meant as sarcasm….That if they are going to go after anyone that is poor that gets help from someone….

  45. obgator says:

    So if he were homeless and got “impermissible benefits” from a soup kitchen, he would be forced to sit games and pay restitution?

    He was in a situation where he was close to being homeless. It’s different when student athletes or recruits get benefits that would not be afforded to normal students attending the university. Again, this isn’t OU where he was paid for not doing work…or UM where he was given hookers and blow or OSU where he sold his gear for cash or even Bama where he sold his textbooks for cash or USC where he was just given cash and a house for his parents.

    The benefits are different and the way the information came out was different as Floyd volunteered all of this information to be safe. There was no hiding or denying or lack of cooperation as with the cases mentioned above.

    The NCAA has got this case all wrong.

  46. aaron says:

    Scooter p I imagine what he meant by that was how Meyer was last season. Meyer wasn’t in it last season. Amazing coach.

  47. G8Rgrad98 says:

    I think some folks are getting a little too upset on the Urban references… I can’t imagine there is a true Gator out there that doesn’t li e & respect Urban. I think we need to interpret these remarks as Gators trying to rally & support our new coach not as hits to Urban!
    Sharriff… Gator Nation loves & supports you young man!!!!!!’

  48. TonyM1449 says:

    I personally think that says even more about Urbs and the man he is aside from winning and winning the right way. He put the program and his love for it ahead of himself. 2 championships in 3 years, he could have easily Bobby Bowdened us away for a decade running on an empty tank. Once he realized he could no longer give it his all, he threw himself aboard for the sake of the ship! That’s what a leader does!

  49. TonyM1449 says:

    Urban will always have my support and respect! A legend! GO GATORS!

  50. SaraGator says:

    Just received word from my booster friends… tomorrow at the game… instead of chanting blue.. orange, we will be chanting Shariff… Floyd.

    Though it doesn’t make up for the NCAA punishment, it will be an immediate tribute to an upstanding good kid.