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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Florida's Shariff Floyd adopted

By Michael DiRocco
GatorNation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Within months after serving a two-game suspension for receiving improper benefits, Florida junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was adopted by the person who provided those benefits, according to a published report.

The adoption, reported by USA Today, has allowed Floyd to receive an automobile, a credit card and an apartment from Kevin Lahn, who first met Floyd through a mentoring foundation while Floyd was in high school in Philadelphia. NCAA rules allow adoptive parents to provide money and other gifts to student-athletes.

The NCAA suspended Floyd for the first two games of the 2011 season because an investigation found Floyd had violated NCAA rules regarding preferential treatment for athletes when he received $2,500 over several months from a person other than a family member or legal guardian.

Floyd used the money for living and transportation expenses, the NCAA said. The NCAA also said Floyd also received impermissible benefits in the form of transportation and lodging for unofficial visits to several schools, but not Florida.

The NCAA would not reveal who gave Floyd the financial assistance, but Steve Gordon, the president of the Delaware-based Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation, said at the time it was his organization that helped Floyd with travel expenses for about 15 unofficial visits along the East Coast while Floyd was at Philadelphia/George Washington High School. The USA Today story identified Lahn as the person who gave Floyd the financial assistance.

The 50-year-old Lahn at one point was the treasurer for the foundation. According to the SAM website, the foundation provides academic and athletic support to student-athletes by mentoring them and assisting them with SAT preparation.

According to USA Today, the adoption was finalized on Dec. 19. Floyd has a room in Lahn's 6,500-square foot home outside Philadelphia and Lahn paid for a combined fifth wedding anniversary/21st birthday party for Floyd in Miami last summer. Several UF teammates (Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley) and a former teammate now at Western Kentucky (Jonathan Dowling) attended the party, which was held at a posh Miami hotel, and spent time aboard a luxury yacht.

Floyd has started every game this season for the 9-1 Gators. Easley has played and started eight games (he missed two with injuries). Both will play on Saturday against Jacksonville State, the school said.