UCF LB Shaquem Griffin not cool with Charlie Strong's use of 'handicap' in compliment

Dr. Saturday
FILE – In this Nov. 11, 2017, file photo, Central Florida linebacker <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/228732/" data-ylk="slk:Shaquem Griffin">Shaquem Griffin</a> defends against Connecticut during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Orlando, Fla. The American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016, Griffin has not made quite as many impact plays this season, but he is still among the best players in the conference. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
FILE – In this Nov. 11, 2017, file photo, Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin defends against Connecticut during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Orlando, Fla. The American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016, Griffin has not made quite as many impact plays this season, but he is still among the best players in the conference. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Charlie Strong’s word choice when complimenting Central Florida defensive star Shaq Griffin didn’t go over too well with the linebacker.

Griffin was born with a birth defect that caused his left hand to not fully form. He had surgery as a young child to have his left hand completely removed.

The one-handed linebacker has developed into one of the best defensive players in the country as UCF is undefeated. The Knights play rival South Florida on Saturday, and South Florida coach Charlie Strong praised Griffin during his press conference Tuesday.

“He’s always moving and he plays with so much passion and he’s hard to block and he’s going to cause a lot of problems for us– which he’s caused problems for everyone,” Strong said. “And he has a handicap and he does not allow that to stop him from doing what he needs to do which is really special about him.”

After seeing Strong’s quote on Twitter, Griffin tweeted this.


It’s understandable that Griffin didn’t appreciate Strong’s choice of words. However, it’s pretty clear that Strong was praising Griffin in his comment and didn’t mean any harm. Could he have used a more appropriate descriptor? Absolutely. But watch the video for yourself.


Griffin has 47 tackles, three sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and an interception this season. He was the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 2016,

The Friday game between the two directional Florida schools is a battle for the AAC East Division. The winner heads to the AAC title game and, with a win there, will likely be the Group of Five team that gets to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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