Florida A&M will play at UNC despite eligibility issues

By R.L. Bynum

Reports out of Florida A&M suggested that Carolina’s football opener scheduled for Saturday night was in jeopardy of being canceled or postponed, but it appears that the team is traveling to North Carolina and will play.

Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons told Alison Posey, the sports director of WTXI in Tallahassee, Fla., that 20 of his players are ineligible because of academics or transfer eligibility and not being certified by the NCAA.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel said that a FAMU spokesman told him that the Rattlers will be without 20 players, and says that they will have only eight eligible offensive linemen.

Posey later reported that the team was going to travel to Chapel Hill and would play in the game. Simmons had told Posey that he was leaving the decision to play up the players.

“The responsibility ultimately falls on the student-athlete,” Simmons told Posey. “But without support, it is really, really hard to juggle all they have to juggle and still maintain satisfactory academic progress and still compete at the highest level.”

According to Posey, FAMU has one compliance officer for the entire athletics program.

FAMU will receive $450,000 for playing the game.

During the pandemic, a common reason that a game was canceled or postponed was the lack of offensive linemen.

Photo via goheels.com

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