When most people think of the Florida A & M University Developmental Research School, or DRS, they may know it as “that school next to the University.” However, it is much more than that; in particular, the sports program, which has produced Sam Madison, cornerback for the Miami Dolphins and Taylor Jacobs, wide receiver for the Washington Redskins.
The FAMU DRS sports program currently offers basketball, football, baseball, volleyball and track and field. “The girl’s basketball team just went to state last year, and should be returning this year,” said DRS athletic director Albert Renolds.
To participate in the FAMU DRS athletic program, students must have a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 non-weighted scale to be eligible for participation during the following semester. “One definite high in my position would be the fact that every one works together to make one successful program. A low is seeing someone who loves to compete be denied that love because they do not meet the academic requirements,” Renolds said.
Florida A&M University’s athletic program has a genuine legacy that spans over 100 years.
The program has featured outstanding teams, coaches and some of the most influential athletes in American sports.
A major problem that advisors are trying to figure out these days is what happened to the legacy that was once developed between students playing at the FAMU DRS School, and then furthering their academic and athletic skills at Florida A&M University. “A lot of athletes have come through our program, but lately not too many from the DRS program,” said Alvin Hollins for the Florida A&M University athletic department.
There are many reasons and rumors why there are not more Earl “the hit man” Holmes’, who is currently a line backer for the Detroit Lions, went from the FAMU DRS program to Florida A&M University’s athletic program.
“Everyone has their perception of why our athletic program does not contain a good number of DRS students, the more obvious reason is money,” Renolds said. Both Hollins and Renolds agree that Florida A&M University just doesn’t have as much money as some of the larger schools in the state to spend on the recruiting process. Financial difficulties from the division I-A fallout resulted in a critical deficit situation for athletics at the University, which this past summer had to drop Men’s Golf, Men’s Tennis and Men’s and Women’s Swimming teams.
“Through financial difficulties, I think both the FAMU DRS athletic program and Florida A&M University will be better than last year,” Renolds said.
One major problem with the athletic program at the University is a problem that is shared with almost all the University’s programs; it is understaffed. “We need more than just one correspondent; two or three more people are greatly needed at the University,” Renolds said.
As FAMU DRS and Florida A&M University athletic programs build good athletes and good students, the Florida A&M University athletic program has major plans for its future. Some of these plans include a further expansion of Bragg Stadium, continuing to build the new 8,000-seat teaching gymnasium, which will house basketball and volleyball, as well as the renovation of present facilities. Florida A&M athletics is an ongoing success story, a legacy built on a solid foundation, which dates back over a century. Optimistically there will be more athletes from the DRS program to continue this legacy.
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