After a bit of an up-and-down rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings, we haven't heard a whole lot about defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd this off-season. Over the past couple of days, however, there have been a couple of stories about him that I'd like to touch on here.
The first one is that Floyd has been named the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA in regards to "grant-in-aid" payments. Arif has a nice breakdown of the whole thing over at Vikings Territory, but it basically boils down to this:
There are, naturally, a number of charges that Floyd and his fellow plaintiffs make, but the issues that may carry the most weight are:
- The fact that there is what amounts to oligarchical price-fixing regime over the maximum compensation an athlete can earn (tuition and expenses)
- That Grant-In-Aid (GIA) does not cover full college expenses by the NCAA's own definition
- The rules that the NCAA enforces serve as a contract, and as such violate the Sherman Antitrust Act by unlawfully restraining trade (both because market rates would be higher than GIA and because labor movement is restricted).
It doesn't sound as though this is going to affect Floyd's availability to the Vikings or anything like that, but it's something to keep an eye on going forward.
Of more concern to Minnesota Vikings fans might be the fact that Floyd managed to get himself up to 330 pounds this past off-season. . .and has since managed to get himself back down to about 305, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
How did he do it? Well, by giving up meat, among other things.
"I changed a lot of things this offseason,'' Floyd said after the event. "I stopped eating meat. I started eating just seafood and really focusing on my diet and everything leads into what I do on Sunday. (Giving up meat was) really hard. I lived off pork. I thought pork made the world go around.
"That was just me (making the decision). Do I want to keep putting this stuff in my body or do I want to get right? So I decided to give up things that I love that are not really good for me right now. My body feels great. I've been telling people my body hasn't felt this way since I first started playing football.''
In a related story, pork does not, in fact, make the world go around. I still think, however, that it plays a pretty damn significant role. You can have my bacon when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
But it's pretty awesome that Floyd has gotten himself into such good shape. With Kevin Williams probably not coming back to Minnesota next year. . .I'd like to think there's at least a little bit of hope. . .Floyd is obviously anticipating taking over a much larger role in the new Mike Zimmer/George Edwards defense, and is probably still playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder since falling from being a projected top-5 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to the 23rd overall pick. Hopefully we're in store for a big season this year for #95.