Former Florida Gators and current Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd is the latest to get in on bashing the NCAA. Floyd and six other former NCAA athletes are suing the NCAA, Big Ten, Pac 12, Big XII, SEC, ACC, AAC, Atlantic Sun, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt Conference. Gator Bait and 247 Sports‘ Thomas Goldkamp laid out the details of the lawsuit:
“The suit makes the case that athletes like Floyd make the institutions large amounts of money and are not fairly compensated according to their market value thanks to caps on grants-in-aid to student-athletes. The suit goes as far as to call those grant-in-aid caps as ‘price-fixing.’”
Although it seems in vogue to draw up a lawsuit against the NCAA, Floyd and company might have the best case. His group is the first grants-in-aid case to feature both men’s and women’s athletes. This suit features former Kennesaw State women’s basketball player Ashley Holliday. It should also be noted that this case includes 10 conferences, not just the five major conferences.
Floyd may have lingering ill feelings against the NCAA. You may remember he was suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits from a man who later adopted him. Kevin Lahn violated rules regarding preferential treatment for athletes when he gave Floyd over $2,500 over a period of several months. This was a violation because only a family member or legal guardian can give money to a student athlete. A few months after the suspension, Lahn adopted Floyd for good. Lahn met Floyd while Floyd was in high school in the Philadelphia area. They met through a mentoring foundation.
It also should be noted that there’s a good possibility Floyd wouldn’t have been a first round NFL draft pick without the exposure and services of the University of Florida. I can understand both sides of the story.
Floyd spoke out on Twitter to explain himself and reaffirm his love for UF
“Student athletes need to be respected more. It’s hard for great coaches to do their job when their athletes are just looking for something as simple as an extra meal, a movie date with a friend and comfort that they are gonna be taken care of and not taken advantage of. Athletes shouldn’t be suspended for raising money, to better his life or for looking at a mentor as a father. This has nothing to do with the Gator Nation. I love my college and will always be a Gator.” - Sharrif Floyd (@SharrifFloyd)
Between the Northwestern football players unionizing, the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, and numerous other lawsuits regarding paying amateur athletes, the NCAA sure has a lot to handle in the coming years. You can read the entire lawsuit here.