Tuesday, February 21, 2017

FSU got secret $2M on behalf of FAMU-FSU COE, Mangum’s name wasn’t on request form

A report by the Naples Daily News shows that FSU President John Thrasher got his university a secret $2M appropriation on behalf of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (COE). But then-FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s name wasn’t on the request form he submitted to the Florida Legislature.

“The College of Engineering shared by FSU and Florida A&M University also received $2 million in a one-time secret appropriation that lists Thrasher as the requester on a form also dated Dec. 4, 2015, with [FSU lobbyist Kathleen Daly] identified as the contact, records show. FAMU President Elmira Mangum’s name was not included on the form,” the newspaper reported.

The December 4, 2015 request by Thrasher came less than five months after FAMU lost budget authority for the COE. July 1, 2015 was the date that the Chief Financial Officer of Florida began sending the multi-million dollar appropriated budget for the engineering college to FSU instead of FAMU. FAMU had previously gotten the funds in its general revenue line for 28 years.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Audit says FSU didn’t follow state’s competitive selection process for $18.9M in contracts

Back in January, Florida Auditor General Sherrill F. Norman released her first operational audit for John Thrasher’s administration at Florida State University (FSU). The audit said that the university didn’t follow the state-required competitive selection process for a total of $18.9M in contracts for facilities projects.

“The University did not competitively select, in accordance with State law, construction management entity, architectural, and engineering firms for the renovations and repairs to the Civic Center and Strozier Library Projects with costs totaling $16.1 million and $2.8 million, respectively,” the audit summary said.

The full audit report went on to say that: “Specifically, given the similar project contract dates and service providers used, it appeared that University personnel divided the Civic Center and Strozier Library projects into smaller projects to keep the individual project costs below the $2 million required competitive selection process threshold.”

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lady Rattlers upset MEAC No. 2 Spartans, 59-51

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers stunned the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) second place Spartans of Norfolk State 59-51 on Saturday at the Al Lawson Center.

FAMU was paced by junior Shakerrya Morrison and senior Alicia McCray, who each carded a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. McCray added six blocks in her best defensive output of the season.

“I’ve been waiting all season on her to play like that,” Head Coach LeDawn Gibson said of McCray.  “It was a good team effort to beat a solid Norfolk State team.  I’ve felt all year that this team could beat any team in our conference.  It’s not easy to explain why we seem to drop games we surely should have won, while occasionally winning ones we weren’t expected to,” Gibson added.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

FAMU v. Arkansas game moved to Thursday

Florida A&M and Arkansas will be part of the first Thursday night of the 2017 college football season when they play in Little Rock. Originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, Sept. 2, the Razorbacks’ season opener at War Memorial Stadium will now be played on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

It marks the first time since 2001 that Arkansas will open the season on a Thursday night. Arkansas defeated UNLV in the 2001 season opener. It will also be the program’s first Thursday night game since 2003 when Arkansas took down South Carolina, 28-6. Both of those games were also played at War Memorial Stadium.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Shouppe and Rattler baseball team ready for 2017 season

By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

After a 31-21 season last year, losing only 7 of their 26 home games, and 5 of their 24 conference games, the Florida A&M University Rattler baseball team is hitting the field once again, looking to dominate in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

Although many of the same players who contributed to the Rattlers’ most wins since 2003 are returning to bat, pitch or catch this season, the absence of one major player will be felt.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

FAMU receives $958,673 HBCU-RISE award

L-R: Professors Carl Moore, Hui Wang, and Tarek Dickens
FAMU-FSU College of Engineering professors, Tarik Dickens and Hui Wang, with the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and Carl Moore, with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-RISE) award to develop research in advanced manufacturing utilizing biomimetic robotics.

HBCU-RISE activity within the major Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program supports the development of research capabilities at HBCUs that offer doctoral degrees in science and engineering. This competitive national grant, worth over $958,673 is the first one awarded to FAMU, and one of only two ever awarded in the entire state of Florida.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

UCF Knights escape Pereira, FAMU, 2-1

The FAMU women’s softball team dropped a 2-1 heartbreaker to host the University of Central Florida in the UCF Softball Invitational Saturday night.

The game was a rematch from Friday, which also went to UCF, 10-2 in six inning, but this time though, the FAMU Women were determined to force a different outcome.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rattlers rally, hold off slumping Aggies, 83-77

The FAMU men’s basketball team caught fire in the second half here Saturday, scoring 49 points to rally past struggling North Carolina A&T, 83-77 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at the Corbett Sports Center.

FAMU (7-17, 5-6 MEAC) trailed 37-34 at the half, after shooting 42 percent (12 of 28) to the Aggies’ 50 percent (15 of 30).

The Rattlers turned the tables in the second in all phases offensively, shooting a robust 56 percent (14 of 25) from the floor, 75 percent (3 of 4) from distance, and most importantly, 94.7 percent (18 of 19) from the free throw line.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Florida Times-Union: “FAMU leadership is back on track”

On Friday, the Florida Times-Union wrote another editorial that lauded Florida A&M University's continuing progress under its new administrative and Board of Trustees leadership.

Back in December 2016, the Times-Union ran an editorial entitled ““FAMU seems to be getting back on track.”

From the February 9, 2017 editorial “FAMU leadership is back on track”:

Florida A&M University is on the move. There is new leadership with a respected interim president.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

FAMU softball drops 4-2 season opener to #20 Kentucky

The FAMU women’s softball team opened the 2017 season Friday morning with a heartbreaking 4-2 loss to the No. 20 University of Kentucky in the first game of the UCF Softball Invitational at the UCF Softball Complex.

FAMU junior designated player Toni Anderson broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh when she belted a solo homer to give the Rattler women a 2-1 lead headed into the bottom of the seventh.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hornets sting Rattlers in MEAC overtime thriller

Nick Severado grabs a rebound over a Hornet player
By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

The Florida A&M Rattler Basketball team (6-17) faced off against the Delaware State Hornets (8-18) in a conference match up, resulting in a 77-80 loss, giving the Hornets their second win in a row in overtime.

It was a battle from the beginning, as the Rattlers fought to get and keep leads on the Hornets, who they defeated 81-68 in Dover barely a week ago.

Friday, February 10, 2017

FAMU softball team continues to support South Side families through its volunteer work

Head Coach Veronica Wiggins and the FAMU softball team volunteering at Bethel AME
By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

The Florida A&M University softball team is no stranger to community service. For years, the team has had a tradition of volunteering with the local Bethel AME Church, working hard to provide complete Thanksgiving meals for local low-income families on the South Side of Tallahassee.

This is just a portion of their numerous local contributions.  Each season, they designate a game “Breast Cancer Awareness Day,” where they honor those afflicted with the disease.  They also participate in “Trunk or Treat,” a community-oriented festival for youth to visit the campus and enjoy a safe Halloween experience.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Lady Rattlers extend streak to six by downing Hornets

By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers (7-16) clinched yet another conference win against the Delaware State Hornets (3-21) on Monday in the Lawson Center with a 69-61 victory.

Despite some difficulties early on, the Lady Rattlers managed to leave the Hornets to trail for the large majority of the game. By the end of the first quarter, junior guard Shakerrya Morrison had already out-rebounded the entire Hornets team with nine.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Losses continue for alumni ex-lawmakers who ignored attacks on FAMU

Florida A&M University received poor representation from its alumni who served in the Florida Legislature between 2015 and 2016.

In 2015, FAMU lost control of a multi-million dollar college budget after 28 years and saw its alumni become a minority in the 11 appointed university Board of Trustees seats. But the six FAMU alumni who held seats in the legislature at that time simply ignored those attacks against the university.

Four of those individuals are now ex-lawmakers who have taken some big losses since leaving the state capitol.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

FAMU football legend Bob Hayes honored at Super Bowl LI

FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson and Bob Hayes' sisters Lucille Hester and Georgette Sanders
Just minutes before Super Bowl LI kicked off in Houston, Texas, fans cheered during an emotional pregame, on-field tribute to 29 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame players, including Florida A&M University (FAMU) legend Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes. The late two-sport Rattler is the only athlete to win a Super Bowl ring and Olympic gold medals.

At the invitation of the NFL, FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson and Hayes’ family members attended the game and a weekend of special events dedicated to trailblazers who attended historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Hayes died in 2002 at the age of 59. He was enshrined posthumously into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in July 2009.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Rattlers drop Bison, 78-66, to complete series sweep

By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

The Florida A&M Rattler Basketball team (6-16) used a team effort to best the Howard Bison (5-18), handing the Bison their fourth consecutive loss.

Leading early on, the Rattlers fought to keep their lead against the Bison, who they defeated 78-66 on Howard’s home court in their first conference game on Jan. 4th.

FAMU Lady Rattlers defeat Howard, 55-51

By Stacey Ragin
FAMU Sports Information

The Florida A&M University Lady Rattlers Basketball team (6-15) left the floor with a 55-51 victory against the Howard University Bison (10-10) on Saturday, ending the Bison’s two game winning streak.

The Rattlers struggled early on, fighting to finish against HU, who they fell to 58-72 in their first conference game in Washington, D.C.on Jan. 4. Freshman center/forward Ny’Asia Davis led both teams at the end of the first quarter with six points, one rebound and one block. Junior guard Kalybriah Haskins also contributed with three points and two rebounds.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Four Rattler baseball players make 2017 Preseason All-MEAC Team

Four Florida A&M University Rattler Baseball players were named to the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason All-Star team, as selected by the MEAC’s coaches and sports information directors.

First baseman/catcher Brian Davis, third baseman Ben Ellzey and sophomore outfielder Willis McDaniel were first-team selections from FAMU, while catcher/designated hitter Jacky Miles, Jr., was named to the second team.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Five FAMUans named to preseason All-MEAC softball team

Five Florida A&M women’s softball players were named to the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason All-Conference Team announced by the league office.

Headlining the group from FAMU is senior pitcher Kenya Pereira, who was named Preseason Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. The Kissimmee, Florida native has won the Most Outstanding Player Award at the MEAC Tournament in 2014 and 2015, and was the regular season 2016 Pitcher of the Year, posted a 14-16 overall record, a 3.36 ERA, with 138 strikeouts in 193.2 innings.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Lawson denounces Trump’s immigration ban

On Tuesday, January 31, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, FL-5, issued the following statement in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from the United States for 90 days:

“I am disappointed by this Executive Order because it goes against everything this country stands for.  I can think of few things more un-American than discriminating against people seeking refuge on our shores because of their religion.  This action betrays who we are as a country. Keeping the American people safe from threats from abroad is very important to me but targeting an entire religion is completely misguided and irresponsible.

This order dishonors our values and has caused shockwaves of confusion throughout our nation.  America is the land of opportunity regardless of age, race, class and religion. I will continue to work for smart action to protect our borders while protecting religious freedom and defending our American values.”