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.
Floyd has already served one game of his ineligibility by sitting for the Florida Atlantic game, and will not be eligible to play against UAB this Saturday. He will also have to repay the $2,700 to a charity.
That's all well and good, right? Player gets some nebulous impermissible benefit, and gets punished for it. But Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley sounds a smidgen past upset in the statement he issued on the NCAA's ruling.
"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."
Summary: "We did everything to the best of our ability, Floyd gave us as much information as should have been necessary, and you're going after a poor kid who happened to benefit from unbiased friends' largesse that was intended only to give him a chance at a better life. Way to go, NCAA!"
More on this tomorrow, assuredly.