Muschamp’s Defense of Floyd Will Send Message
Muschamp's players will have his back
Muschamp's players will have his back
FightinGators.com Insider
Posted Sep 8, 2011


He may not have made many friends in Indianapolis, home of the NCAA, but University of Florida head football coach Will Muschamp’s statement on the Sharrif Floyd situation is going to have an effect on the people that matter to him now and down the line. Do not underestimate the powerful message Muschamp delivered to his players and future players under his guidance… he is going to fight for them.

We’ll first start with the official statement in its entirety from Will Muschamp

………………………………………………

"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.

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 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 tears 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."

…………………………………

The piece said everything Gators fans needed to know about the man. When he thinks one of his boys is being treated wrong, he is going to make sure that everybody knows it. Although he has no real control over the punishment, he is going to make sure that the public is made very aware of the situation and so that the people inflicting what he believes to be an extra hardship on one of ”his boys” can and will get thrown around the court of public opinion.

Muschamp could take the first sentence and last sentence of the statement, throw them on the bulletin board in the Florida locker room, and have a group of young men that are ready to stomp a hole in their opponent for the next game.

Whether Muschamp is right or not in all of this isn’t going to matter to those that he was really trying to impress. His players and the players he is recruiting will undoubtedly understand he will say what he has to say to whoever he has to say it to protect them. If that isn’t a recruiting tool, I don’t know what is.

Not that this statement was staged for that purpose. The emotion in the statement certainly is powerful enough to see that he meant every word he said. And that my friend is what will matter to his players and recruits and their families.

I think another thing that should be very clear here to those families is how clear Muschamp was in knowing and showing that his program, even in a recruitment that took place before his arrival, is so on board with the rules of the NCAA that he is willing to stick his neck out there a country mile.

As Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley stated in a similar statement, the University was completely compliant when Floyd himself notified them of issues that he had no idea were issues to begin with.

"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 in his statement. 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.”

Mamas and Poppas that send their kids to Florida to play football now have a clear message that at every level of the program, Florida is trying their hardest to do things the right way and that they will back their kids as far as the rules will allow them to do so.

In light that rules were evidently broken, albeit probably not at the fault of the student athlete, Muschamp and Foley went to bat because of the kind of person Floyd is and what he represents as a Florida Gator.

“Sharrif Floyd is an outstanding young man and we are very proud that he represents our program,” Foley continued in his statement. “We are all disappointed that he had to deal with this situation, but he will move forward and be stronger for this."

I have little doubt that Florida will be stronger for this.



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