Updated Nov. 14 at 12:00 p.m.
An investigative report conducted by Rachel George and published Tuesday by USA Today uncovered that Florida Gators junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was adopted in Dec. 2011 by the family of the man that provided him with what the NCAA determined were improper benefits back in 2009.
Floyd, who had been cared for by his great grandmother and had to raise money via a high school bake sale just to attend the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Game, was suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season after revealing to Florida that money he used to go on recruiting trips may have been in violation of NCAA policy.
That money was provided by Kevin Lahn, a South Carolina graduate and former booster who is also a wealthy vice president of a commercial real estate company. “They met in summer of 2009 through the Student Athlete Mentoring (S.A.M.) Foundation, a Delaware-based non-profit group whose stated mission is to help high school athletes with SAT and ACT preparation and organize visits to colleges and camps,” George notes.
The Gators reported the potential violation to the NCAA, which declared him temporarily ineligible until he donated a similar amount of money to charity. Three months after Floyd’s clearance by the NCAA and return to the field last September, Lahn adopted the promising student-athlete and has been supporting him ever since.
“Basically, the NCAA was telling Kevin for the next three years he could no longer be a part of Sharrif’s life,” said Steve Gordon, described by George as “a close friend” of both Floyd and Lahn. “At that point, it was like taking your son away from you and saying he can’t be your son for three years, you can rekindle the friendship or the father-son relationship after that. And Kevin said, ‘No, that’s not acceptable.'”
Read the rest of this story…after the break!
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