TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida A&M football team, which considered not traveling to the season opener in North Carolina last week, openly questions the level of support players receive from the university.
what you need to know
- FAMU soccer players tell president a better student-athlete experience is needed
- The Rattlers had to face North Carolina last week without 26 ineligible players.
- FAMU was awarded $450,000 for the team to play the game in Chapel Hill, NC
- Players said they will continue to kneel in protest at games until their concerns are addressed.
Nearly 90 players wrote a scathing letter to school president Larry Robinson a day after the team lost 56-24 to the Tar Heels while playing without 26 players who had been declared ineligible. FAMU received $450,000 to make the trip to Chapel Hill.
The letter implores Robinson for “changes made now” and says “we are not interested in any more empty dialogue with you or your staff.”
The letter alleges myriad problems with the “student-athlete experience at FAMU,” which has the second-largest enrollment of any historically black college or university in the United States. The letter alleges deficiencies with financial aid, academic support/compliance, and summer school. He also says that gamers are underrepresented and underappreciated.
The letter said the players took a knee in protest during two school songs that were played after the game and will continue to do so “until significant changes are made that facilitate a positive student-athlete experience.”
The university responded by insisting on its commitment to maintaining a culture of compliance and compliance with NCAA guidelines.
“We are confident that our processes are effective and timely,” school officials said Tuesday. “We will continue to monitor our efforts in this regard and seek all avenues to provide a great student experience for every athlete. FAMU is committed to maintaining high standards and rigorous adherence to NCAA guidelines.”
Former FAMU athletic director Kortne Gosha resigned in April and has since been hired by Tulane as a senior associate athletic director. The players said in their letter that they felt they were not represented in the search for a new AD.
Among the players declared ineligible were linebacker Isaiah Land, the best defender in the Football Championship Subdivision last season and a possible 2023 NFL draft prospect, and right tackle Cam Covin. Land and Covin have retained attorney Tom Mars, who has a history of helping college players with NCAA eligibility issues.
“I don’t think anyone in college sports has ever witnessed a bigger mistake by the university or a more unfair punishment directed at the players, the only people in this mess who did everything right,” Mars said in a released statement. . On twitter. “If a parent doesn’t file a tax return, the IRS doesn’t punish their children. But this is the college sports equivalent of doing just that.”
FAMU plays Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami on Sunday. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.