Debating the big decision

If you keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.

Obviously, the seven members of the Board of Trustees who voted against the groundbreaking move to NCAA Division I-A completely disregarded this tidbit of wisdom.

“It’s absolutely a setback for the university and the FAMU family,” said Al McCoy, former assistant to the athletic director and director of Olympic sports at FAMU.

There is no prosperity in black college football. In the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, you keep the gate for your home games. Oohwee.

The biggest college prize in black college football is the Heritage Bowl, a game the teams pay their way to and from.

There is no such thing as a foolproof plan. The University of Florida, University of Miami and our neighbor Florida State University have all endured bumps and bruises on their road to the riches and championship rings.

“When FSU was still a girls’ school, FAMU was winning championships in the state,” said former SGA president Andre Hammel. “I think it’s a huge mistake by the school.”

Other than missing an opportunity to be a trailblazer, FAMU has now opened itself up to an enormous amount of potential litigation and possibly ruined the aspirations of a football recruiting class of 20.

These athletes signed national letters of intent to play for the Division I-A FAMU. Now it will appear to recruits that they have been sold a dream or, more bluntly, lied to.

Four established Division I-A schools signed contracts with FAMU, believing they were signing up to play a fellow Division I-A team.

There is no way any team with an opportunity to win the Bowl Championship Series, would even think about playing a Division I-AA school, especially one that plays in the financially strapped MEAC.

“When you sign contracts to play folks and don’t, they sue … ,” said James Corbin, Board of Trustees chairman and advocate for the move to Division I-A.

So now, the Rattlers have to go crawling back to the MEAC by March 15 and ask seven schools to please make space on their schedules to play them just to be eligible to compete for a conference title and a shot at the Division I-AA playoffs, two things they’ve always had.

“It’s a slap in a graduate’s face to come back and see us get voted back to where we were in the 40s and 50s,” McCoy said.

Nick Birdsong is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Tampa. He is an assistant sports editor for The Famuan. Contact him at