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Published: Tuesday, 12/18/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

UM’s Floyd apologizes to teammates

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

A day after the University of Michigan football program announced the suspension of three players from its bowl game on Jan. 1, cornerback J.T. Floyd issued a statement regarding his suspension from the Outback Bowl and an apology for it.

Floyd gave the initial statement on Monday to ESPN.com, in which he apologized to teammates, to his family, and to the university community for what he called “a poor decision I made this past weekend” that resulted in his suspension.

Floyd, however, did not specify the reason for his suspension in the five-paragraph statement.

“I have given my heart and soul to this program, and it truly disappointments me that I will not be with my teammates in Florida,” Floyd wrote. “This is a deep pain that I am dealing with to the best of my ability. I am 23 years old and despite the successes I've had on and off the field, I made a very uncharacteristic and immature decision.

“This decision contradicts the expectations that I have set for myself, and the expectations that others have set for me as well.”

Floyd, a redshirt senior, is one of three players suspended for the Outback Bowl in Tampa.

Michigan announced the suspensions of Floyd, punter Will Hagerup and linebacker Brandin Hawthorne on Sunday for a violation of team rules. Hagerup and Hawthorne did not release statements regarding their suspensions.

“My last name and reputation mean more to me than words will ever be able to express. I promise to always represent our university with pride, class, dignity, respect, and professionalism,” Floyd wrote. “It is through my experiences here at the University of Michigan that I am a better person, and more equipped to prepare myself for the obstacles and challenges that lie ahead.

"I wish the best of luck to Coach Hoke and my teammates in the Outback Bowl, and again, I am sincerely sorry."

Floyd started 12 games at cornerback for the No. 19 Wolverines (8-4) this season and had 48 tackles (28 solo).

In his third year as a starter, Floyd led the Wolverines with five pass breakups and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection.

In a teleconference a week ago, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., listed Floyd as one of a handful of Wolverines who could be selected on the third day of the NFL Draft in April.

Nine days before his suspension, Floyd, a native of Greenville, S.C., told reporters in Ann Arbor he was looking forward to the opportunity to face the Gamecocks in what would have been his final game with the Wolverines.

“It’s exciting for me,” Floyd said. “I was telling these guys earlier it was just sort of life has come full-circle for me. They were my first [scholarship] offer and now it’s my last collegiate game. It’s just another opportunity, and I’m blessed to represent the maize and blue against South Carolina.”

The suspension, however, rendered Michigan’s 26-21 loss Nov. 24 at Ohio State as Floyd’s last game with the Wolverines.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com,419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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