There's a new "Sharrif" in town, and he's taking on the NCAA too.
Former Florida star and current Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has been named in a lawsuit against the NCAA, SEC and nine other major conferences, according to 247Sports' Thomas Goldkamp:
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.'
Sports legal analyst Michael McCann provided a PDF of Floyd's lawsuit:
McCann also pointed out the differences between this lawsuit and some of the others against the NCAA that have been floating around:
This is 1st grants-in-aid case v NCAA to include both male & female plaintiffs (basketball player Ashley Holliday of Kennesaw State is one).— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) April 25, 2014
2 key differences about Floyd v NCAA from other grants-in-aid lawsuits: 1. 10 conferences (not 5) sued as well. 2. plaintiffs include women.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) April 25, 2014
For those who don't remember, Floyd was suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season after taking improper benefits. Following the suspension, Floyd was adopted by the same man who gave him the improper benefits.
"There was no ulterior motive on either part," said Steve Gordon, a friend of the family who adopted Floyd. "It was just that they bonded really well. (Adoption is) a huge load. You can't do it for an ulterior motive."
The former Gator may have an axe to grind with the NCAA, in addition to seeing the writing on the wall regarding the NCAA and how it compensates student-athletes.
There's no question that he and his teammates helped to bring a lot of money to the school as a result of the football team's success. However, 247Sports' JC Shurburtt wonders where Floyd's NFL draft prospects would have been without Florida:
Although Floyd has made millions already in the NFL, plenty of his teammates at Florida didn't have that luxury.
Regardless of how you feel about paying student-athletes, Floyd's lawsuit is yet another attack on the NCAA and its amateur ideal. With the amount of money flooding into college athletics, it's getting harder and harder for university presidents and NCAA officials to justify the current system.
Depending on the result of the lawsuit, their hand may be forced sooner rather than later.