Mid-eastern Athletic Conference commissioner Dennis Thomas met with a group of FAMU officials that included President Fred Gainous, Joseph Ramsey II, the special assistant to the president for athletics and Provost Larry Robinson Monday afternoon.
The meeting began the process of the football program rejoining the MEAC, after the board of trustees voted 7-5 last Tuesday to delay the move to Division I-A.
“The main agenda of the meeting was to integrate FAMU back into the MEAC”, said Ebenezer Oriaku, chairman of the athletic committee.
Thomas received a letter at the meeting stating FAMU’s desire to be reinstated to NCAA Division I-AA.
“This meeting was not held to finalize a schedule for next football season.” Gainous said. “The meeting was administrative in nature.”
FAMU also faxed a letter to the NCAA and is awaiting a reply.
“The letter was faxed to the NCAA.” Gainous said. “We are just waiting for their response.”
In order to be reclassified as a I-AA school in football, the NCAA’s membership subcommittee must approve the University’s decision.
Jonathan Evans, the University’s assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance said, given the University’s special circumstances the NCAA will probably be more inclined to allow FAMU to move back to Division I-AA.
“We can’t determine what the NCAA will do. That would be being presumptuous,” Thomas said.
The meeting’s participants were tightlipped about exactly what was discussed during the hour-and-a-half-long meeting.
“There are things that need to be addressed,” Thomas said. “I can’t itemize them one by one.”
Ramsey, however, said the meeting was a productive one.
“We accomplished what we set out to do,” he said.
Although a final decision was not made in terms of scheduling for next football season, the lines of communication between FAMU and the MEAC were opened.
Ramsey said the University would wait for the official response from the MEAC before getting a schedule together.
The Rattlers have only one conference game set for next season with the Florida Classic in Orlando against Bethune-Cookman College.
FAMU must now attempt to schedule seven additional conference games in order to compete for a conference title.
Ramsey said he would not talk about the schedule until it is finalized.
“We will lay it all out once it is finalized.”
Contact Nick Birdsong at firstname.lastname@example.org.