Albany State Rescinds Scholarship Offer To Ex-Florida QB Commit Marcus Stokes | Did Administration Miss An Opportunity To Educate?

First-year Albany State head coach Quinn Gray has rescinded the program’s scholarship offer to former Florida Gators QB commit Marcus Stokes. The 2023 four-star prospect from Nease High School in Florida, had his scholarship pulled by the Gators for using a racial slur. 

A video surfaced in November causing the split between the school and the QB. Albany State, in search a quality signal-caller, in turn offered the strong-armed gunslinger.


Poetic Justice? | Marcus Stokes, Who Lost His Florida Gators Offer For Saying The N-Word, Receives HBCU Scholarship Offer


Why Did Albany State Rescind Scholarship Offer To Marcus Stokes?

After receiving tons of blowback, the offer was taken back and, in an apology issued by Gray, he explained why he was wrong for offering Stokes.

“Let me start with a humble apology. An apology for not honoring the tradition and history of ASU and for letting many of you down.”

“I didn’t uphold the Ramily standard that I know you expect. Please know that my decision to speak with a student that did not meet with our expectations was unacceptable. I only wanted what was best for our team, athletes, and institution when I invited the student to visit ASU.

As I say to our players, “there is a consequence to every action. The consequences of my actions brought pain to our university. I was trying to help a student get back in competition, and in my haste, I did not consider the impact the decision would have on all of you. Frankly, it wasn’t my place to use ASU as the platform for redemption in this case. I regret that I used flawed judgment. If given the opportunity I will do better.

ASU expects excellence. The President has made it clear that my actions did not meet the standard. It was never my intent to misrepresent what ASU stands for nor to ignore the rich history of this institution. I am fully committed to the University’s mission of academic excellence and student success.

Being accepted into the Ramily is something that you have to earn. The Ramily embodies the spirit, authenticity, and love forged from the toil of giants before me. My actions caused you to question my commitment to our institution and our ancestors. As the consequences go, I hope to find a way back into the Ramily. Without a doubt, I will be all in. Go Rams.”

Sounds like school president Marion Ross Fedrick wasn’t too happy about the fact Stokes was even offered, and he cleaned it up pretty swiftly.

Stokes is now left looking for other offers after having two pulled in the last couple of months. That’s the exact reason coaches tell players to be careful with how they use social media and other things that can be traced back to you.

Albany State Did The Right Thing

In rescinding Stokes’ offer, ASU showed that the institution isn’t just going to sign a kid because he has talent (in this instance). The racial element of course played the biggest role in how this transpired. In actuality, it was probably no way Stokes would’ve ever been accepted in an HBCU locker room after using that racial slur. Although at the pro level teams have had to put things aside for the well-being of the franchise. Like the Bills did with Josh Allen.

Teaching Opportunity Missed? 

The bad part is, Blacks use the word daily, and they shouldn’t, but white people also have to understand the history of the word and why it’s very much taken in a different context when they use it. Even when reciting rap songs. It’s a slippery slope most athletes need to just stay away from. 

It could have been an interesting learning experience for Stokes as well, where he gets an opportunity to truly meet some Black people and get a true understanding of the culture and “real” Black folks. Truly see the error of his ways. Instead, Stokes will probably never be a member of the Rams or any HBCU program.

Now Gray will have to use his recruiting prowess to land another signal-caller for the program, and while that one may not be as highly touted, he certainly won’t bring the baggage that Stokes was sure to bring.

Who Is Quinn Gray? 

In an eventful week, Gray was introduced as the new head coach of the Rams, replacing former coach Gabe Giardina, who returned to Charleston Southern, where he coached prior to coming to Albany State. The Rams won the SIAC conference under Giardini in 2021, who went 37-17 in five seasons. Gray is no stranger to the HBCU world, having starred at FAMU, where he passed for over 7,300 yards, 57 touchdowns on 562 completions.

So being a QB himself, you see why he searched outside the box to bring in some game-changing talent to the position. No way that was going to fly. 

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