The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced its spring 2021 football schedule. It has FAMU participating in only divisional play in order to alleviate time spent outside of class for the players, travel expenses and eliminating any air travel due to safety precautions concerning the coronavirus.
The schedule was originally set for FAMU to have a six game season. However, conference opponent and arch-rival Bethune-Cookman University has announced that its program is forgoing all spring athletic competition, including football, due to COVID-19 concerns.
Kortne Gosha, FAMU’s athletic director, is close friends with Lynn W. Thompson, the AD at BCU, and Gosha said they are in constant communication. Gosha was not surprised about the news, as he knew it was coming.
“Thompson and I talk four to five times a week. Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed that Bethune is not participating in spring football, but we understand. Every institution is different, all of our student athlete populations are different, and quite frankly there is a financial component to this,” Gosha said. “This does affect us and there is no secret about that.
“We are partners in a lot of things we do in particular the Florida Classic, which is very significant for us. We have to fill those holes in the schedule, not just for football but all spring sports,” Gosha added.
Derrick Mayweather, a four-year starting linebacker and team captain for the Rattlers, has competed in the classic every year while attending FAMU. Despite FAMU’s dominating overall record of 49-23-1 against B-CU, Mayweather has never beaten the Wildcats. He said he was looking forward to getting two opportunities to beat B-CU this spring.
“I was definitely disappointed hearing the news that Bethune Cookman would be ultimately dropping out of the spring season. I most certainly wanted to go out the right way as a senior, getting the chance to play them again and finally beating them. However, I am still excited that we are getting the chance to play in the spring and show the world the work that we have been putting in this past fall and over the summer,” Mayweather said.
Tyre Sperling, is a 2005 graduate of FAMU, where he majored in public relation, He is a third generation Rattler; as his father, grandmother and several aunts have attended FAMU, and FAMU football has been a big part of his family’s history.
“When I heard that both games between FAMU and B-CU were canceled this spring, it was really disappointing and saddening to my family because I go every year to spend time with family and friends. I understand the safety measures and protocols that have to be enforced to ensure that our students as well as our fans are staying protected. I am excited about next year, as I am ready to get back to Orlando, where we know that FAMU will be victorious. 2020 has been a challenge for many of us; however, I believe 2021 will be the best thus far,” Sperling said.