GAINESVILLE — Florida DT Sharrif Floyd, who was expected to be in the starting lineup Saturday night, was held out after being declared ineligible. UF athletic officials said Floyd will not play until he is cleared by the NCAA.
"We have declared Sharrif Floyd ineligible and he is not eligible to compete until his eligibility is reinstated by the NCAA," the Florida athletic department said in a statement. "We have been, and will continue to work with the NCAA until this matter is resolved. This is an issue that is not related to sports agents, University of Florida boosters or his recruitment to Florida. We will not have any additional comment on this matter until it is resolved."
LEGENDS AND ALL-STARS: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden made a rare appearance in Gainesville to join with Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger to promote the Inaugural Battle of Florida North vs. South Collegiate All-Star Football Game.
The game is 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at Florida Atlantic University Stadium and will air live on Fox College Sports. Co-founder Brian McNeely said there is a five-year contract to host the game, which will include NFL draft-eligible players who were either born in or played high school football in Florida.
"When I came to Florida State 36 years ago, we only had three (Division) I-A schools here," Bowden said as stood inside the O'Connell Center at a dais with the UF logo. "Now we've got, what, seven? Seven I-A schools. So there's a lot of boys, there's plenty of boys that would like an opportunity to get into the NFL that are not going to get there, or not going to be invited early. So I think this game will give those boys a chance to play another game and I'm sure somebody will sparkle and do real well and get themselves a contract out of it."
Bowden said he's enjoying his time away from the game, adding he didn't realize how much stress he was under until he wasn't coaching anymore. He did not stay for the UF game, saying, "They'd shoot me up there (Tallahassee) if I stay and watch this game."
His best quip was about the USF-Notre Dame game: "I get fired for losing to South Florida and they still keep their job."
AREA CONNECTION: Three area players started on the Gators' offensive line. Matt Patchan (Armwood) returned after missing all of last season with a wrist injury, joined by Jon Halapio (St. Petersburg Catholic) and Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic).
ONE FOR THE TEAM: First-year SEC director of officials Steve Shaw thought he had thrown his last flag — at least on the field. But Shaw took teamwork to new heights Saturday. When referee Hubert Owens became ill and was unable to work, SEC officials didn't have enough time to find a substitute because of the short notice and the number of league games being played on Saturday. So Shaw, who was already planning to attend, worked in his place.
Antonya English can be reached at email@example.com.