For those who think NCAA rules on amateurism are outdated and hypocritical, Sharrif Floyd could be a folk hero.
Floyd found a most interesting way around some of those rules. When the George Washington High graduate went off to play football at Florida, he didn't have anyone in his life who could afford to help him out financially within the rules.
At first, that got Floyd in trouble with the NCAA. Then he was adopted, at age 20.
NCAA rules were broken that forced Floyd to sit out two games in 2011. That part of his story goes back to George Washington, when several local men began an organization they called the SAM Foundation, for student-athlete mentoring. The design, according to the foundation, was to pay trip expenses for local athletes who otherwise couldn't afford them.
"All we try to do is provide a service to kids from the inner city who, because of their situations, aren't afforded the opportunities that a lot of kids from affluent families are," the foundation's president, Steve Gordon, a former South Jersey high school coach, said in a 2011 interview. "You've got a kid like Sharrif Floyd who doesn't have two nickels to rub together."
There were several problems: The treasurer of the organization - the man writing the checks - Kevin Lahn of Kennett Square, was a University of South Carolina booster. His work - paying funds through the organization - was not allowed under NCAA rules, and got the Gamecocks on probation after a player who took money from the foundation went to South Carolina.
The foundation seemed to have no working knowledge of NCAA rules, no awareness about such terms as "extra benefits" for athletes.