UPDATE: Major stars among 20 ineligible Rattlers vs. UNC

The FAMU Rattlers open their tenure in the SWAC in the Orange Blossom Classic against Jackson...
The FAMU Rattlers open their tenure in the SWAC in the Orange Blossom Classic against Jackson State.(Dominic Miranda | WCTV)
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 2:59 PM EDT
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UPDATE Saturday afternoon

WCTV Sports Dominic Miranda has learned that Buck Buchanan Winner Isaiah Land as well as star DB BJ Bohler and starting OL Cameron Covin are among the 20 ineligible players for Saturday’s contest at Chapel Hill. Their suspension is for four games and is in the process of being appealed by the university.

In addition, FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson has released a statement...

“Greetings from North Carolina, where our Rattler football team and coaches are getting ready to face off against the North Carolina Tar Heels at 8 p.m. tonight.

I am incredibly proud of our coaches, staff, volunteers, alumni, and friends who are here to support the courageous young men on our team who will compete to the best of their abilities in this contest. The Marching “100″ Band is also here and will mesmerize the crowd in their typical fashion.

I must commend our Rattler football team members for expressing their concerns about matters that my administrative team and support staff will handle more effectively. We have a responsibility to work together with our student-athletes, coaches, and staff to provide academic, health, safety, and other services needed for students’ success at Florida A&M University.

We have a shared commitment to a culture of accountability and compliance, and as senior administrators and staff we must lead the way. I often brag about our students and their willingness over the years to engage in important matters of the public’s good and of significance to their well-being. I am incredibly proud that these young men stepped up in the face of current challenges and expressed their concerns in that revered Rattler tradition.

The issues raised by these young men will get our full time and attention and will be prioritized by our recently established Athletics Support Committee, which includes administrators and staff from throughout the University community. These matters will be a standing agenda item at my weekly Senior Leadership Team meetings. We will see progress.

And as for today, our team is here. Our coaches and staff are here. We will compete and do our best to win. Once again, I am thankful for all of the coaches, staff and student-athletes who played a role in making this happen.”

This in addition to a statement received by WCTV from Head Coach Willie Simmons on Friday

“After final certification of our entire team late last night, we were made aware that 7 of our Offensive Lineman were deemed ineligible. When you consider that 3 others are nursing injuries, that only leaves us with 7 healthy eligible Offensive Lineman. The players didn’t feel comfortable playing under those conditions and they are all understandably frustrated with many of our internal processes in the certification process, so they decided not to play. After a few more discussions with university leadership, including the president of the university, the players ultimately decided to play the game. I support these young men 100% in whatever they decide and I’m extremely proud of them for advocating for themselves!”

The Rattlers have since found an eighth Offensive Lineman according to FAMU Athletics.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - FAMU Athletics tells WCTV it will still play Saturday’s game at North Carolina.

This comes following social media rumors early Friday afternoon that the Rattlers would not be able to play at UNC. The problem stems from certification issues that have made 20 players ineligible to play according to Florida A&M. It is unclear if these issues would prevent players from being eligible in future contests or just the Week 0 game against the Tar Heels.

The game is slated for kickoff on Saturday at 8 PM on ACC Network.