Florida A&M football players write letter to university after 26 players declared ineligible against North Carolina

After playing in North Carolina without 26 players in the roster, the Florida A&M football team has written a scathing letter to university president Dr. Larry Robinson. The letter, signed by 88 players and obtained by Alison Posey of WTXL ABC 27presents a list of problems that the team wants to solve.

The letter is addressed directly to Dr. Robinson and lays out several major issues the team has with the university. They range from timely financial aid payments, academic support and compliance, summer school room and board, representation on the athletic director search committee, and allocation of tickets for player families.

Due to what the team says was poor academic advising and compliance, FAMU had 26 players declared ineligible for their game against North Carolina. The Rattlers put up a good fight before the Tar Heels pulled away late to win, 56-24. The team said seeing ineligible players smeared at the meeting was “disruptive” to the locker room.

“It was very damaging to the morale of our football team to read in various media outlets, ’26 FAMU football players declared ineligible,'” the players wrote. “This narrative implies that we are not performing in the classroom. In fact, that could not be further from the truth. The issue at hand is not academic performance, but procedural issues within the registrar’s office, the department of compliance and academic advising”.

Despite having so many players down, the team chose to play North Carolina. However, the Rattlers said they did it for everyone who supports them, not the university. The players also knelt before the alma mater after the game, and intend to do so until the issues outlined in the letter are resolved.

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“On Friday, after much dialogue within our team, we decided to play at UNC,” the players wrote. “We decided that we would not play for this institution, but for our families, teammates, classmates, our rabid fan and our coaches who had prepared us and loved us. We played with all our guts and, in the process, two of our teammates team suffered season-ending injuries. After the game, we decided to protest the performance of the Florida Song and FAMU’s alma mater of the Marching 100 by taking a knee during both songs. We will continue to do so until there are significant changes that facilitate a positive experience between students and athletes. They are made. We are not going to sing a song that begins ‘Colegio de Amor y Caridad…’ when we don’t even feel like we belong to this university”.

Florida A&M will now turn its attention to its game against Jackson State, which kicks off at 3:00 pm ET on Sunday, September 4.

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