Monday, July 28, 2008

Joint Statement, B-CU President Trudie Kibbe Reed and FAMU President James H. Ammons Regarding Florida Classic and MEAC-SWAC Challenge

“It has come to our attention that a recent article in the Tallahassee Democrat incorrectly indicates that we, as presidents of Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) and Florida A&M University (FAMU), support the relocation of the MEAC-SWAC Challenge football game to Orlando and agree to play in the challenge.

We wish to correct the information that was erroneously printed in the Tallahassee Democrat.

As we have made clear in earlier statements, we do not support any historically black college or university athletic event in Orlando. We believe such a contest would negatively impact the annual Florida Classic. In addition to being a much-loved tradition for our alumni, the Florida Classic is a critical revenue source for both B-CU and FAMU. It is our strong belief that scheduling a football event in Orlando prior to the Florida Classic will erode its brand and put this critical funding source at risk.

We have advised MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas of our concerns, noting that Historically Black Colleges and Universities should not infringe on each other’s markets for signature events, whether it be the Florida Classic in Orlando or the Bayou Classic in New Orleans.

In addition, we want to dispel a rumor that the Florida Classic will move to Miami in 2009. This is also not true.

Information regarding the official positions and statements of B-CU or FAMU are issued by the President’s Office of each institution. We urge everyone – alumni, friends, and media – to check with our offices to get the most accurate information on this or other issues.”

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