Floyd to Sit Two Games

The Gators can now breathe a sigh of relief. The NCAA ruled on Thursday that sophomore defensive end Sharrif Floyd must sit out two games and arrange to repay approximately $2,700 to charity before he is eligible to play again. Since Floyd sat out the season opener against Florida Atlantic, he is expected to return to the team September 17 against Tennessee.

Sharrif Floyd was announced ineligible minutes before the start of the season opening game for violations of NCAA preferential treatment rules, including receiving $2,500 cash over several months from an individual not associated with the University of Florida.

Floyd used the money for living expenses, transportation and other expenses. He also received impermissible benefits before enrolling, including transportation and lodging related to unofficial visits to multiple universities. The University of Florida was not one of those.

The suspension could have been worse. It could have been four games, but the reinstatement staff elected to move it to two, citing Floyd's personal hardship that led to the impermissible benefits being provided to him by someone other than a legal guardian or family member.

"We examine each situation carefully and consider all elements related to a student-athlete's individual circumstances and the violation," said Kevin Lennon, vice president of academic and membership affairs. "This gives us the flexibility to tailor the conditions of reinstatement that take into account all details and are in the best interest of the involved student-athlete."

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley also issued a statement.

"It is important to note that Sharrif brought this matter to our attention and we reported the facts to the NCAA this past February," Foley said. "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."

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