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FAMU President Robinson addresses concerns raised by football players

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Posted at 8:14 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 08:15:31-04

TALLAHASSEE, FLa. — Florida A&M President Dr. Larry Robinson held a press conference on Tuesday to directly address compliance concerns in response to a seven page letter the 2022 Rattler Football Team sent to him.

Before the press conference began, Robinson had the opportunity to speak with the football players directly as well as learn from them. He described the conversation as a "very understanding dialogue."

According to Robinson, a commitment has been made to have five additional compliance workers and two academic advisers to assist with compliance among athletics. He hopes to have the additional workers within the next two months and the other individuals by the end of the fall semester.

Robinson also addressed the direct concern of the players feeling unappreciated, which was brought up in the letter they wrote to Robinson, stating they were informed last week that the current athletic administration reduced the amount of tickets that they would receive from four to two. According to the letter, the NCAA allows players to receive four tickets for each game.

The athletes will now receive four tickets for their games instead of two.

Dr.Robinson also said he thinks there is a misconception that FAMU does not care about athletics, which bothers him the most.

According to Robinson, they are working hard to make sure the players have the best experience as possible.

On August 27, twenty FAMU football players were ruled ineligible to play against UNC due to academic advisement and compliance concerns. Only seven offensive linemen could travel to play, which is not enough to play a safe game, according to FAMU Head Coach Willie Simmons.

The team still traveled to Chapel Hill to play the University of North Carolina on Saturday.

In response to so, the football team released a letter on Monday, addressing academic support, compliance and summer school issues the team is having with the "student-athlete experience at FAMU." The letter was signed by 89 players.

According to the university, FAMU only has one academic adviser and one compliance for FAMU athletics, which was also stated in the players' letter.

The letter can be found in full below:

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On Monday evening, FAMU officials responded to the compliance concerns with the following:

Consistent with FAMU’s long-standing commitment to maintaining a culture of compliance and conformance with NCAA guidelines, we are justifiably proud of having achieved 13 of our 14 sports programs fully meeting the Academic Progress Rate (APR) requirements per the NCAA’s November 2021 APR Report in spite of rumors and misinformation to the contrary.

Our Compliance Team, which includes partners from Compliance, Athletics, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs, has been working diligently with Athletics since Fall 2021 to implement plans for the remaining non-compliant program to meet the required APR score and join the others so that 100 percent compliance is achieved.

After the assessments of Spring and Summer 2022 academic progress, the Compliance team exercised its due diligence to complete the certification process on August 11 before the Fall sports season began. These are, as always, tight windows and beginning on August 13 waivers began to be submitted to the NCAA based on feedback from our coaches. The NCAA subsequently issued its decisions on August 24, 25, and 26, 2022.

We are confident that our processes are effective and timely. We will continue to monitor our efforts in this regard and pursue all avenues to provide an excellent student experience to every athlete. FAMU is committed to upholding high standards and rigorous adherence to NCAA guidelines.