FAMU football is canceled, but FSU prepares to play

Chief Osceola and Renegade plant the spear before FSU game. Photo courtesy Brandon Buck Photography

Several fall sports have been canceled in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, which shows no signs of slowing down. But not the Florida State University football program — even though a mile away Florida A&M University announced earlier this month that it was suspending all fall athletics, including football.

FSU’s team has been practicing four times a week, showing optimism for continuing the season. Some people think it’s ridiculous to continue sports with the number of people who will be in the stands, while others think it’s a wonderful idea.

A Tallahassee resident and lifelong Florida State football fan, Khalieb Coleman, is glad to know the Noles are planning to play this season.

“Since my first memory of sports, I’ve been a die-hard Seminole fan. I’ve seen the team have its ups and downs, and from last season, we were down. My feelings are very uncertain because I want to see what kind of season we are going to have with the new coach and what he can bring to the team, but I am worried about the safety of the players and staff,” Coleman said.

But, what has the team been doing to prepare for the season?

Asia Henry, a senior psychology student at Florida State University, reveals her safety concerns for the players and what she believes is best for the team in the upcoming season.

Chief Osceola and Renegade plant the spear during the 45-7 Florida State University victory against Boston College on Fri., Nov. 11, 2016 at Doak Campbell Stadium, in Tallahassee, FL.

“I have concerns for the safety of the players and staff, but being that FSU is a big school, I think they can overcome this obstacle and provide a safe and healthy environment for the players to play their games in. The best thing for FSU to do is to allow the players to have limited contact with other people as best they can, do temperature readings before staff and players come together, and allow the teams to play without fans present. But, if there is no confidence in providing a safe space, the upcoming season should be temporarily suspended until a safe alternative is found,” Henry said.

As of right now, several season-ticket holders have not renewed their subscriptions, but the college football team has sold about 20,000 season tickets, which is 5,000 below  last season.

DeCalon Brooks, son of Derrick Brooks and a football player for Florida State, mentions what the team itself has been doing to prepare for the season.

“We have been preparing for the upcoming season the same way as any other season. The mission is still the same. We’ve been working out, conditioning, and having meetings,” Brooks said.

Brooks also spoke about the expectations for the season.

“I believe we are going in the right direction for the upcoming season. Coach (Mike) Norvell talks about getting 1% better every day, and I believe the staff, coaches, the players are doing that. Yes, we know there is some risk with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have a plan in place where we will be able to achieve the goals that we want to accomplish while making sure everyone’s health is a No. 1 priority,” he said.