Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons has suspended all football-related activities “until further notice” after a “rap video” was filmed in the team’s locker room at Gallimore Bowl Field House “without proper authorization,” according to a statement Simmons tweeted Friday night. Here’s what you need to know:
- Simmons said that the video was “filmed by a prominent rapper” and that it “contains graphic language that is inconsistent with Florida A&M’s core values, principles, and beliefs.”
- The coach also said that an internal investigation was underway “to determine who authorized use of not only the athletic facility at Galimore-Powell, but also the licensed apparel potentially in violation of the university’s branding and licensing agreements.”
- Simmons’ announcement of the suspension comes just three days before the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s media day, scheduled for July 25.
- The Rattlers opened their 2023 schedule with a game against Jackson State on September 3.
What else did Simmons say?
“Although I am a proud supporter of free speech and all forms of musical expression, this football team (as ambassadors for Florida A&M University) has a responsibility to protect the university’s image. As a result of this unfortunate situation, as the head football coach, I am suspending virtually all football-related activities until further notice.”
“It is an honor to wear the orange and green and as a football program our youth have failed to live up to the standards set before us. They will all learn from this incident and we will continue to work hard every day to become the best version of ourselves and continue to make Rattler Nation Proud.”
Simmons became the Rattlers’ head coach in 2018 and led the team to a 6-5 record in his inaugural season. This was Florida A&M’s first winning season since 2011. Last season, the Rattlers finished 9-2.
(Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty)
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”