“What have I done wrong?”

Prior to enrolling at Florida, Sharrif Floyd received cash and impermissible benefits totaling around $2,700 and for that, the NCAA has ruled that he must repay the money to charity and sit for two games.

If, um, those numbers don’t quite gibe with a recent transgression we’re all well aware of…

Under most circumstances, a $2,700 tab would warrant a four-game suspension (see last year’s verdict against Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green), especially involving benefits exchanged during the recruiting process (see last week’s verdict against multiple Miami players).

… that would be because the NCAA is making shit up as it goes along.  Again.

In Floyd’s case, though, the NCAA cited several “mitigating circumstances” after examining “the totality” of the situation — beginning with the apparent fact that, according Floyd’s high school coach in Philadelphia, Pa., Ron Cohen, at least some of the improper benefits in question were generated by a school bake sale on Floyd’s behalf…

… But the second possible factor in reducing Floyd’s time from four games to two was, in the NCAA’s words, “his personal hardship.” Or, in Cohen’s words: “He didn’t have two pennies to rub together.” Floyd often relied on people outside of his family — including Cohen — for money to eat, as well as clothes and transportation.

Will Muschamp is pissed.

“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…”

Now the point here isn’t to make light of the fact that Floyd has had a rough go of it, at least until he got to Gainesville.  Nor is it whether or not the NCAA acted reasonably here.  It’s that there’s no rhyme or reason to this stuff.  Either you’ve got these strict guidelines that call for certain amounts to lead to certain penalties with no shades of gray, or you’ve got an amorphous situation where it’s going to less troublesome for some kids to receive benefits than for others based on whatever feels good at the moment.

It’s nice that the NCAA showed consideration for Floyd.  But as a Georgia fan, I sure feel cheated right now.


Filed under The NCAA

25 responses to ““What have I done wrong?”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Why Blutarsky, don’t you know that foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. 😉


  2. dmh

    The NCAA is about as consistent as NASCAR at enforcing rules.


  3. Joe

    Muschamp must be pretty comfortable that he will never have to deal with the NCAA in any manner again to unload like this over such as small penalty. Two meaningless games is pretty mild IMO.

    I think poking the bear is a bad long term survival strategy for a coach. You don’t think this little tirade won’t be remembered by the nudges in Indianapolis?

    Right or wrong (and I see nothing wrong with the minor penalty – BTW, where does this poor child come up with $2700 today so he can play next week??), bad choice of language Coach. This will come back to gator bite you later.


    • Sneaky Short

      I guess Shariff will be selling cakes and cookies outside BHG this weekend to pay back NCAA.


    • Big Shock

      As opposed to UGA which bows to the NCAA like we are bowing to a king and gets screwed every time. Maybe we need to adopt the same strategy.


      • Undersigning O-Linemen Since 2001

        McGarrity fixed this problem in March when he retained Mike Glazier.


        • Unfortunately, it’s difficult-if not impossible–to figure out the definition of unacceptable behavior and actually work within them, when the “rules” in place are floating like water treatment pond debris in the mind of self-important, partisan twerp.

          I will go to my grave believing that there is a very ugly money trail in the rulings meted out by the Powers That Be.


  4. Tdawg

    Interesting in muschamps quotes where he brags that Floyd is such a good kid that he sends Pell grant money back to his grandma. Didn’t realize that’s what those are for.


  5. Careful Brad

    My first thought was about AJ’s suspension when I heard this too. I’m just glad we got a favorable ruling on Jarvis Jones. I could have seen anywhere from no games missed to losing his entire eligibility because who really knows what they are thinking?


  6. Uglydawg

    Joe, if the NCAA is actually vindictive towards those who criticize it, then things are dark indeed. All it would take would be for one conference to schedule a vote on getting out. Pass or fail,it would shed light on the creeps.
    The SEC could do well within itself, esp with fourteen institutions. That would crack a door open through which other conferences would flow…Maybe. It sounds good to me this morning anyway.


  7. Normaltown Mike

    RE: NCAA’s words, “his personal hardship”

    Katie bar the door. If the NCAA is now admitting that a few “scholar athletes” are deserving of some indulgences due to “personal hardship”, I don’t see how they can bother to claim objective enforcement standards (do they bother to claim objective enforcement?).

    I guess some athletes are more equal than other athletes.


  8. JaxDawg

    For the record, AJ Green didn’t come from nothin’ and didn’t have a cent to his name up in South Carolina. His mom worked at Wal Mart and his father was laid off before he enrolled. Did the NCAA consider this when rendering their decision? Hell no.


  9. Will Trane

    Agree there is no fairness or even handiness in the NCAA investigations and determinations. Somewhere some institution is going to hammer the NCAA over this. They are slowly building a big case against themselves. Also, glad the Jones matter was resolved as quickly as it was. Think the AD is up to this and handles better than previous ADs..

    But…can we not go a season without some players sitting for a game due to suspension for violations. Like Thomas and Rambo. I have to think when you do not have 2 players available for an “important game” that has to hurt with subsitutions, plays that could be called, and overall game management. We simply can not move past this issue with some players

    How can you practice and play focused when you let yourself “run out” and get suspended. If others players do not get suspended why is that some do. Frankly, I am tired of suspended players post suspension talk and responses. Either you want to be part of a roster / team or you don’t. Make up your mind so the rest of the team and get on with its business of playing football.


  10. M.

    The more salient question is, did UGA make those “mitigating circumstances” arguments to the NCAA on AJ Green’s behalf? My guess is No, which would be par for the course for UGA. As you may remember, the AL kid got a break because of “mitigating circumstances” – his mom’s death iirc (and that he named names). Now that we have that new NCAA specialist lawyer, I bet we would make those arguments.


    • Ben

      I’m sure there were other things on the mind of our AD at the time of AJ’s ordeal. Just another reason that things, long term, should be looking up at UGA.


  11. ConnGator

    Floyd did not use bake-sale money to throw a party or whatever else Green did with his jersey money. And he self-reported it 18 months ago.

    Those red-and-black blinders are working quite well if you don’t see a substantial difference in the two situations.


    • Can you show me where in the NCAA regs it matters how a kid spends the money?

      Again, my beef isn’t with Floyd. It’s with the NCAA’s inconsistent approach.


      • ConnGator

        Here you go:

        From the NCAA release on Floyd:

        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.


  12. fuelk2

    My guess is that there’s maybe a bit more to the AJ story than we know. Like maybe his interview gave the NCAA a reason to feel less compassion toward him. It’s not like AJ grew up in Highland Park, TX himself.


  13. UFTimmy

    If you want to really bend your mind on the enforcement consider Miami’s suspensions. They had a booster giving kids benefits in the forms of abortions and lap dances for the sole purpose for coming to a school. Some of their players get suspended one game.

    Yet another kid gets money given to him for living expenses and gets two games.

    Remember, kids, if you’re going to give money to amateur athletes, make sure it’s form abortions and lap dances. Not food.


  14. Cojones

    Why shouldn’t there be mitigating circumstances? If the money was given before and during recruitment, then the NCAA should be informed and the course taken as prescribed or all schools be aware of his problem and contribute from a general welfare fund. The problem quickly goes to the heart of the matter-you can’t have slush funds, even collectively. I remember more than one case of funds solicitation and school help once the player suffered tragedy after recruitment and as a member of the team. Special dispensation was sought from the NCAA, however.

    At $250/game, Shariff is out for the season. If it was determined that FU knew of monetary help during his recruitment and before letter of intent, then they are guilty of more than secondary violations.

    I do not object to a warm heart shown by the NCAA in giving special dispensation. It’s the unfairness to others who have gone before that on the surface doesn’t look fair. Yes, we all feel that AJ was wronged in the punishment meted out. Because the NCAA appears truculent in most of their dealings, we have assessed a black and white mentality to them. They may be exibiting a grey mentality in this case, but unfortunately their track record flies in the face of it.

    Muschamp doesn’t do the kid any favors by ranting to the press and may have made it worse for the player, the coach and FU. I really show naivete when acknowledging that I never thought that Pell Grants could be used in contributing to the family back home. If circumstances were so bad, why didn’t the school ask for special dispensation for his grandma and step in to help after he was eligible for Pell Grants?

    We feel for the guy and hope something good comes out of it for him, but FU should have handled this much differently.