Just like any other semester our Rattlers and Rattlerettes struck their prey in competition. However, unlike any other semester, the excitement of FAMU sports was overshadowed by the horrific eclipse of tactical terrorism.
After Sept. 11, students were no longer attending games to have fun, show school spirit and be around friends. I observed many students attending games to escape from the cyclone of grief that was encircling us all.
I attended games because the president told us to revert back to normalcy and I am used to being in an environment where the breeze of competition blows.
Normalcy for FAMU sports came in the form of winning as our athletes treated us to a trio of treats: three Mid-Eastern Athletic Championships.
The volleyball team won its second MEAC title in three years by sweeping the floor at the MEAC Championships. The team’s leader, Shante Haymore, was named the MEAC’s Most Outstanding Performer in the regular season and tournament.
Another treat came by way of the women’s cross country team, who won its fourth MEAC Championship in five years.
This consistency has been upheld by coach Donya Andrews-Little who took home the Most Outstanding Coach award for the MEAC.
The final treat came from our football team as it claimed its second straight MEAC Championship, an automatic bid to the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs. They also reached the milestone of 500 wins for a program.
Georgia Southern, its opponent this Saturday, is 10-1, and are the two-time defending NCAA Division 1-AA champions. Many people, including myself, didn’t feel that FAMU would get this far, so I am not going to count them out just yet.
The women’s bowling team also had a good season, but just couldn’t bring it all together at its MEAC Championships.
Overall, I feel that our sports teams represented themselves and our school very well during the semester.
Howard University, another MEAC school, cannot say the same thing after Tuesday. It was placed on NCAA probation for five years in five sports – baseball, women’s and men’s basketball, and the men’s and women’s swimming teams. Howard was put on probation because of improper recruiting practices as well as neglecting to sit players who were ineligible.
I feel that our athletic department has established itself as a model for success for other black schools. It is sad to see that we have now left Howard far behind.
Here in Tallahasse, next semester will be interesting and also entertaining with basketball, track, tennis, baseball, softball, and swimming making up the FAMU sports picture.
Ibram Rogers, 19, is a sophomore magazine production student from Manassas, Va.