Rattlers Athletics Having Issues with Academics

Milton Overton Jr., Florida A&M’s athletic director is having issues motivating his athletes both in the classroom and on the field. 

Due to low academic scores FAMU remains under level two NCAA sanctions. But football players aren’t the only ones performing at low levels; basketball and men’s track are having the same issue.  

Overton said to the Tallahassee Democrat that the reason the Academic Progress Rate (APR) has dropped is because coaches continue to get fired.  

“At best, it’ll be next year or the year after, we had one good year where APR was at 918 or something, but that good year just dropped off. I think this year we’ll be well over 900. This year if we graduate 100 percent, we still wouldn’t meet the average. We’re in a five year hole because we keep firing the coach.”

When a coach is fired, players leave the team and are less likely to graduate.

“I’m just being honest,” Overton told the Democrat. “I’m saying that because the numbers show 5-7 percent attrition rate. The attrition rate goes up because of instability. You fire a coach, four times, you’re talking about an attrition rate of 30 percent of your team.”

According to the NCAA teams must have an APR score of 930 but FAMU has averaged well under that in previous years.   

“Students have to focus on their academics more, it’s crazy that these students aren’t held to higher standards when it comes to academics and both the University and coaches need to come together and make some serious changes because not only did these students come to Florida A&M University to strengthen their football skills, but they also came to strengthen their minds and we’re failing them,” said Edwin Hopkins, a graduate student at FAMU.