The great Langston Hughes once pondered the results of a dream deferred. Though the dreams of the FAMU Four may now be delayed, they are no longer denied. Men’s golf, men’s tennis, and men and women’s swimming/diving are slated to return to action.
Golfer Jason Still, a junior business administration student from New Jersey, hopes to get back on the course soon. “We’re serious about competing in the sport of golf. We just want the chance to play like everybody else,” Still said. He was both “happy and excited” about the recent restoration of the four athletic programs. Though Still is eager to tee off again, he acknowledges some potential challenges, “a couple guys already transferred, a few new recruits didn’t come.” Despite uncertainty, the golf team remains upbeat, and the possibility of competition in the spring still exist.
Tennis player Clifford Malivert, a sophomore criminal justice student from Miami, remains cautious about the University’s decision. Malivert said, “It’s a matter of when.” Malivert is encouraged by the return of the FAMU Four, but he wants to ensure that he is not “left stuck” again.
When the announcement was made June 30, 2005 that the four sports would be cut, Malivert considered leaving the Hill. The tennis standout is taking a “wait and see approach” until more information about the reinstatement process is solidified.
Swimmer Mejahid El-Amin, a sophomore secondary education student from Atlanta, is looking for tangible proof. “We haven’t lost any hope. Nothing is official until you get it in writing. But we know it just takes time,” El-Amin said. He is encouraged by the team’s return to the water. “We’re not letting anything keep us down. Just give us some time. We’re still hyped and still in it,” he added.
The men’s swim team has taken immediate action to prepare for the future. El-Amin said that part of the team-roughly five or six-began workouts in the pool Wednesday.
Swimmer Dominique Thornton, a senior sociology and psychology student from Houston, does not plan to rejoin the team when it resumes competition. She has shifted her focus to completing her undergraduate studies. Though Thornton has graduation in sight, she remains supportive of her teammates. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the team,” Thornton said.
Official workouts for the women’s team began this week, but athletes from the recently revived programs are “guardedly optimistic” about the restoration process.
Funding and recruiting were all mentioned as potential hurdles to progress.Each student interviewed expressed concern about recruiting for future seasons.
El-Amin looks forward to the promise of tomorrow, “We’re not letting anything keep us down. All we need is time in the water. And in due time we’ll come back up.”
Journey Magazine contributed to this article.
Contact John Marsh at email@example.com