HBCU teams have been embroiled in the “Pay-for-Play” scenario for years, agreeing to play in games against the top teams in college football in exchange for big checks. They have no shot at winning, but the financial windfall the schools make from these games basically make it a necessity for these programs to participate in.
A few weeks ago we learned about the plight of the FAMU Rattlers, who would have to drive over 10 hours in a bus to Little Rock, AR in order to play the Arkansas Razorbacks. Well that game took place last night, and the result was as expected, with FAMU getting obliterated 49-7. While the outcome was never in doubt, the game began with an unusual twist as the Rattlers took an “L” before the ball was even kicked off.
According to rule 1-4.5-b, “each team must wear a jersey that has numbers that clearly contrast with the body of the jersey.” Well apparently no one informed the equipment managers at Florida A&M about this because they were penalized right before kickoff for violating the rule, losing a timeout each quarter beause of it.
Ironically though, the team wore the same jerseys last year in their home opener against Miami and were not penalized.
FAMU gets charged with a timeout due to illegal white on white jerseys. Rattlers played in Miami in the same jerseys and no one cared.
So after over 20 hours in total on a bus ride to/from Little Rock, FAMU ended up taking two on-field “L”‘s. Another interesting storyline in the on-going “Pay-for-Play” saga HBCU football programs face every year.