Florida sophomore defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is going to have to sit out one more game and repay approximately $2,700 to charity before hitting the field for the Gators this season. So ruled the NCAA yesterday.
UF coach Will Muschamp was furious with the NCAA’s decision and let the governing body have it via press release:
“I’m angered, disgusted and extremely disappointed that Sharrif will have to miss two games. …
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 teams 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.”
In his first few months on the job, Muschamp has shown that he will a) dismiss a player for repeatedly violating team rules and b) defend a player who he believes to be innocent. As a result, Florida’s football coach comes across as quite fair. His predecessor could almost always be counted on to deliver a defense of his players (as Muschamp has with Floyd), but his discipline for players like Janoris Jenkins left something to be desired. (Even the thrice-arrested Jenkins has said he would still be on UF’s team if Urban Meyer were still the coach.)
Our view: When it comes to running a football program with discipline and caring for his troops, Muschamp is an upgrade. Now, will that lead to a pair of national titles? The jury’s clearly still out.
But UF fans should like the way their fiery new coach is handling his team off the field.
For the record, Floyd’s suspension stems from the fact that he received more than $2,500 in cash over several months (that he used for living and transportation expenses) as well as additional improper benefits prior to enrolling at Florida.