FAMU players ask school president for ‘changes made now’

Aug 30, 2022, 10:59 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2022, 11:02 am
Florida A&M quarterback Jeremy Moussa looks to pass against North Carolina during the first half of...

Florida A&M quarterback Jeremy Moussa looks to pass against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

(AP Photo/Chris Seward)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida A&M’s football team, which considered not traveling for its season opener at North Carolina last week, is openly questioning the level of financial and compliance support players are receiving from the university.

Nearly 90 players penned a blistering letter to school president Larry Robinson on Sunday, a day after the team lost 56-24 to the Tar Hills while playing without 26 ineligible players. FAMU was paid $450,000 to make the trip to Chapel Hill.

The letter implored Robinson for “changes made now” and says “we are not interested in further empty dialogue with you or your staff.” The letter says players knelt in protest during two school songs played after the game and will continue to do so “until significant changes that facilitate a positive student-athlete experience are made.”

FAMU plays Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic in Miami on Sunday, a game nationally televised on ESPN2.

The letter clarifies players were ruled ineligible not for academic performance but rather because of “procedural issues within the registrar’s office, compliance department and academic advisement.” FAMU has one compliance and one academic adviser for athletics, according to the university.

Among the issues spelled out in the letter involve financial aid was not awarded in a timely manner to buy books, register for classes and avoid evictions.

The university responded by saying it is committed to maintaining a culture of compliance and conforming with NCAA guidelines.

“We are confident that our processes are effective and timely,” the school said Tuesday. “We will continue to monitor our efforts in this regard and pursue all avenues to provide an excellent student experience to every athlete. FAMU is committed to upholding high standards and rigorous adherence to NCAA guidelines.”

The letter alleges issues with the “student-athlete experience at FAMU,” which has the second-largest enrollment of any of the Historically Black Colleges or Universities in the U.S. It also says there’s no student-athlete representation on the committee searching for a new athletic director. Former FAMU athletic director Kortne Gosha resigned in April and has since been hired by Tulane as a senior associate athletic director.

Among the players ruled ineligible were linebacker Isaiah Land, the top defender in the Football Championship Subdivision last season and a potential NFL draft prospect in 2023, and right tackle Cam Covin. Land and Covin have retained attorney Tom Mars, who has a history of helping college players through NCAA eligibility issues.

“I don’t think anyone in college sports has ever witnessed a bigger blunder on the part of the university or a more unfair punishment aimed at the players — the only people in this mess who did everything right,” Mars said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“If a parent fails to file a tax return, the IRS doesn’t punish their kids. But this is the college sports equivalent of doing just that.”

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Seattle Mariners' Luis Castillo reacts after striking out Oakland Athletics' Vimael Machin during t...
Associated Press

Seattle Mariners, RHP Luis Castillo agree to 5-year contract

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have locked up another ace for their pitching staff, agreeing to a five-year contract with right-hander Luis Castillo on Saturday. Castillo was the big trade deadline acquisition for the Mariners when they acquired him from Cincinnati. The hope was Castillo would be the difference in Seattle’s push to end […]
13 hours ago
Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen (12) throws a pass ahead of Iowa State defensive lineman J.R. Singl...
Associated Press

No. 17 Baylor wins Big 12 opener over Iowa State, 31-24

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Blake Shapen threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns as No. 17 Baylor held on to beat Iowa State 31-24 in the Big 12 opener for both teams Saturday. The loss snapped the Cyclones’ 11-game home winning streak against conference rivals. Shapen completed 19 of his 26 passes, connecting with 11 […]
13 hours ago
Michigan defensive back DJ Turner (5) celebrates his interception against Maryland in the first hal...
Associated Press

Corum’s 243 yards, 2 TDs lead No. 4 Michigan past Maryland

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Blake Corum rushed for a career-high 243 yards and two touchdowns and No. 4 Michigan topped Maryland 34-27 in the Big Ten opener for both teams on Saturday. Corum, who tied the school record with five rushing touchdowns against UConn a week earlier, had a career-high 30 carries. He became […]
13 hours ago
Rhode Island running back Marques DeShields (10) takes a handoff into the end zone for a touchdown ...
Associated Press

Abanikanda scores 4 TDs, No 24 Pitt beats Rhode Island 45-24

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Tailback Israel Abanikanda rushed for four touchdowns and quarterback Kedon Slovis was solid in his returned from injury as No. 24 Pittsburgh beat Rhode Island 45-24 on Saturday. The Panthers (3-1) rushed for 272 yards and scored at least 30 points for the ninth time in 11 games, and Slovis had plenty […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Furman holds off Charleston Southern behind Wilson’s 3 TDs

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Backup Jace Wilson had two second-half touchdowns, one passing and one running, and Furman held off Charleston Southern 24-19 on Saturday. Wilson connected with tight end Ryan Miller on a play-action pass for a 44-yard touchdown with 59 seconds left in the third quarter to pull Furman within 19-17. On the […]
13 hours ago
Penn State tight end Brenton Strange (86) hurdles Central Michigan defenders Lavario Wiley (6) and ...
Associated Press

Clifford’s 4 TDs lead No. 14 Penn State past Chippewas

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Sean Clifford completed 22 of 34 passes for 217 yards and accounted for four touchdowns to lead No. 14 Penn State past Central Michigan 33-14 on Saturday. Tight end Brenton Strange caught two touchdowns and Mitchell Tinsley caught one. Clifford and Kaytron Allen added touchdown runs for the Nittany Lions […]
13 hours ago
FAMU players ask school president for ‘changes made now’