Band holds note for too long; football team suffers

There are few weekends in Tallahassee that rival Florida A&M University’s homecoming.

For many students and alumni, the football game serves as the culminating event.

Halftime – more specifically, the Marching 100 – is an integral part of the festivities.

I have a lot of love for the band and understand its importance to the university.

But Saturday’s performance was overkill. Halftime is supposed to last roughly 20 minutes.

With three minutes left, both FAMU’s and Morgan State’s football teams were supposed to take the field and stretch. It’s kind of hard to stretch when there is no field available. The “100” was on the field for over 40 minutes and Morgan State’s head coach, Donald Hill-Eley, prepared to march his squad right off the Bragg Memorial Stadium turf.

Officials flagged the FAMU administration with a 10-yard delay of game penalty.

My only argument with the call is that it should have been made sooner.

After the game, senior wide receiver Roosevelt Kiser said he expected the penalty because it happens every year. Just because something is tradition does not make it right.It would be understandable if the band went 10 minutes or so over the allotted time.

After all, this is expected in black college football. But such a blatant disregard for the rules has to stop.

It’s homecoming, so you already know there’s enough pomp and circumstance to last an hour.

So why not set a schedule and actually work to stay within the time constraints.

Between the Lines

If the field was covered Friday night, it may be time to invest in some new tarp.

There were sections of the grass that sunk like quicksand after the heavy rains.

Several players had trouble with their footing and fell. Credit the turf monster with the tackles.

Speaking of the rain, I’m glad the skies remained clear throughout the contest.

Is there any reason that some of the assistant football coaches are required to wear sideline passes at the games?

The Florida A&M football polo shirts and headsets don’t identify them enough?

Fans aren’t the only ones that give officials an earful from time to time.

A working journalist debated a pass interference call on defensive back Jason Beach.

After a FAMU touchdown, the same journalist responded with a colorful hand salute directed at the striped shirts.

It’s always good to see Rattler football alumni back at Bragg for the homecoming game.

John W. Marsh is a junior broadcast journalism student from Detroit. He can be reached at