Books take a back seat to game

Let me just throw this out there. I like football just as much as the next person.

As a member of the FAMU Strike Team, I love going out to support student athletes. However, the fact that the stadium was blocked off to students who needed to park to go to class yesterday because of a Thursday night football game is absolutely ridiculous.

When I arrived on campus Thursday morning at 10:30 for my 11 a.m. class, I went through the usual routine of attempting to find a spot in the parking garage. When I didn’t find one, I went to my trusty backup-the stadium.

When I got there, I found that all of the entrances were roped off because FAMU had a football game later that night.

What sense does that make?

It is common knowledge that the one parking garage FAMU has is not enough for students, and therefore we have to park in the stadium.

Yet, the brilliant minds at parking services decided that they were going to cut off access to the stadium parking lot ten hours before the game.

First off, if you need ten hours to prepare to direct traffic and hand out tickets then your department has a serious problem to begin with.

Secondly, did anyone think about how this would affect classes?

We’re obviously here to get an education, so why would this university impede our attempt to do so?

When I called the parking services division, I was given the alternative to park in the gravel lot next to GC, or the paved lot right behind the band practice field.

Here’s the problem with that: all of those lots on the other side of campus were either filled, or nearly packed to capacity.

So is this trouble really worth it?

How about we weigh the facts?

Why are we playing on Thursday night anyway?

The game is not nationally televised. One can only think that we moved our game because it would be too much of a conflict to have it on Saturday when FSU plays Miami.

So are we moving to accommodate them? Way to stand strong FAMU.

On top of that, if you work at FAMU, you could have gotten your ticket for free. From what I heard, the season ticket holders weren’t too thrilled about that.

Furthermore, when I called the athletic ticket office I was told that it was “parents’ day” and parents of FAMU students could purchase tickets for $7.

This didn’t sound right because parents’ weekend was in September.

I called back to confirm and was then told that anyone in the community could buy tickets for $7.

Just to test that theory, I called back almost immediately.

This time, it was $7 if you purchased your ticket before 3 p.m. So now we’ve taken on club status.

To make things worse, several classes in the gym were cancelled because the metered parking spots were blocked off. Coupled with the fact the parking garage was full, there was nowhere for those students to park.

I know athletics are important to any institution, but when is a game ever important enough to force students to walk from Palmetto to their classes in the SBI or the journalism building, or force the cancellation of a class altogether?

Maybe next time FAMU should take a time out and think about the impact of their decisions.

This university owes students an apology for the personal foul they have committed against those who had to take a detour in their quest for knowledge.

After all that trouble, we could have at least won.

Sidney Wright IV is a senior broadcast journalism student from Tampa. He can be reached at