The reaction to the NCAA suspending Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd for two games has been interesting to say the least.
Floyd has been ruled ineligible for the two games and ordered to pay $2700 to a charity of his choosing after disclosing to his coaches that he accepted $2500 from a board member of the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation in Delaware.
The NCAA, in a press release said Floyd admitted using the money for living expenses, transportation and other life expenses. At no time did they say Florida gave him any impermissible benefits.
Read the initial story from the Orlando Sentinel RIGHT HERE
For those unfamiliar with Floyd's story (including us), he was raised in Philadelphia without his parents. He spent most of his life living with his grandmother, high school coach, guidance counselor or whomever could help him.
Heck, his high school coaches and guidance counselor held a bake sale to raise money for Floyd to travel to San Antonio for a High School all-star game.
The Sentinel also talked to people in Floyd's life about his character, read it RIGHT HERE
The whole situation royally pissed of Florida coach Will Muschamp, and we have to say, even without knowing Sharrif Floyd, we agree.
Said Muschamp: "The NCAA stated that he (Floyd) 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 he brought them to our attention last February. He came forward because 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 I had to tell Sharrif that he could not play in our game against FAU. I took away part of his family."
The NCAA's response was that some of the benefits he did receive were improper, that the penalty could have been four games, but due to mitigating circumstances, they reduced it to two.
More detail on this debate from gatorsports.com RIGHT HERE
Ok. We get why the NCAA felt the need to step in but by their own definition, they said there were "Mitigating Circumstances". And arguably, to be consistent in what they do, you could make a case for the game suspension.
We have two big problems, much like everyone else, with all this. One, do they really think the kid is going to be able to manufacture $2700 in the next few days? He by all accounts barely has enough money to stay in school. It's not like he has any expense money, athletes aren't allowed to.
Two, everyone involved, including the NCAA don't debate that the benefits caused him to choose or go to Florida. What should it matter? Yeah, we get that every case is different and again we go back to the NCAA verbiage stating they knew that. How exactly do they think Floyd could've been able to get to the schools interested in him? How could he possibly afford to pay his own way to anything?
We think this is an over-enforcement of a rule that isn't totally wrong. But really, can't we all read the case and determine whether or not a penalty is needed. Come on, do they really think Sharrif Floyd is going to find $2700 when he doesn't have the money to buy sheets to put on his bed?