- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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It is so refreshing to find a coach who will speak his mind.
In a world of monotonous coach-speak, Florida's Will Muschamp bucked the trend Thursday when he ripped into the NCAA for its two-game punishment of defensive end Sharrif Floyd.
Muschamp went a little long with his tirade, which you can read here, but the gist of it is that he is repulsed by the NCAA's decision to sit Floyd for another game, or any games, because Floyd's actions in high school were made in order for him to get by while having a very unstable home life.
Floyd was ruled ineligible by the NCAA for accepting more than $2,500 over several months from the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Delaware. Floyd, who comes from a very impoverished background, used the money for living like transportation. He also used the money to fund unofficial visits in order to get a better feel for which schools fit. Florida wasn't one of the schools.
The issue Muschamp has with this is that Floyd wasn't asking for this money just because he could; He took it because he absolutely needed it. This wasn't a situation where he took advantage of anyone or he was looking to make a quick buck. Floyd was extremely poor and people reached out to him in order to make sure he had somewhere to sleep and something to eat. They reached out to him in order to make sure he made the wisest decision when it came to his college career.
This kid came from absolutely nothing and the harsh reality is that he had to break the rules in order to get by in high school. He lost his father at a very young age and after leaving a troubled household at 15, he bounced around from his grandmother's to coaches' houses just so he could sleep and eat.
Was Floyd supposed to stop worrying about his own well-being in order to please the NCAA? No, but the reality is that the NCAA deems what he did was wrong and he must pay his dues.
The timing is also odd as Floyd approached Florida officials in February about what he did and the school informed the NCAA immediately.
This is a tough situation for everyone involved. On the one hand, if you are a high school athlete, you can't accept money from those who aren't part of your family or your guardians. That is the rule. But who knows where Floyd would be without the help he received?
But if the NCAA carefully looks at each situation to determine punishment, how should any high schooler who takes money in order to support himself be punished at a university that didn't help him at all two years later?
It's something that has Floyd and Muschamp dumbfounded, but Floyd's honesty in this situation is also refreshing. He didn't have to tell anyone what he did.
Muschamp might not be the most popular coach with the NCAA right now, but he sure earned a lot of respect in his locker room and with recruits and their families by standing up for Floyd.
We all knew Muschamp could get fired up, but who knew the first victim of Coach Boom would be the NCAA?