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Florida A&M AD Gosha Wants Rattlers, HBCU Football Teams Included in FCS Playoffs

D1.Ticker's Aaron Matas spoke with Florida A&M's vice president and athletic director Kortne Gosha to discuss why he is lobbying for the Rattlers' inclusion into the FCS postseason playoffs.

D1.Ticker's Aaron Matas spoke with Florida A&M's vice president and athletic director Kortne Gosha to discuss why he is lobbying for the Rattlers' inclusion into the FCS postseason playoffs.

TIME TO PUSH THE NARRATIVE FOR HBCU TEAMS

Gosha told Matas, "for all intents purposes, going to make the push. Our student-athletes deserve an opportunity to play in a postseason competition."

Sanders vs Simmons

FAMU must clear several hurdles. The SWAC Commissioner, Dr. Charles McClelland, must support and approve the university's bid for FCS playoff consideration. The school and conference would be required to allocate resources and funds before representing the SWAC in the FCS playoff system. In addition, the NCAA must agree on the SWAC's candidacy.

McClelland was clairvoyant while speaking at the SWAC Football Media Day in August. "FAMU and Jackson State will play a critical game to start the season that will have implications for the rest of the season," said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland.

Jackson State, current top-ranked in the SWAC and No. 20 in the FCS, would have first rights to participate in the playoffs over Florida A&M. When FAMU lost 7-6 to JSU in Week 1 at the Orange Blossom Classic, the defeat complicates a bid for Gosha and the Rattlers.

GOSHA MAKES A CASE FOR INCLUSION

Gosha clarified his point on the matter, saying, "We did come a little bit short; we lost by one point against a very, very good Jackson State team and in our first game this season. For returning to play for almost two years and not competing. And, so are our young men deserve an opportunity. Obviously, we're going to push the narrative and certainly push for those opportunities to come to fruition. But, I would say that the push isn't just because of the current circumstances. I think you've got to look at the history and the pedigree of our football program."

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Indeed, history is on Florida A&M's side - although it has been 43 years. FAMU can proudly boast that they are the only HBCU football program to win a national championship. In his fifth season at FAMU, head coach Rudy Hubbard took his Rattlers to the promised land and won the 1978 NCAA Division 1-AA national championship with a record of 12-1

The team's only blemish came against Tennessee State with a 21-24 defeat at home. The Rattlers would close out the season by decisively beating Grambling, Jackson State, and UMass to win the title.

COMPLICATIONS IN THE SWAC, CELEBRATION BOWL

FAMU QB McKay

Gosha disclosed another complication – the 2021 Cricket Celebration Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18. The timing conflicts with the FCS playoffs and contractual issues need to be addressed. 

He believes it should "be expanded." He continued, "We're talking about equity, diversity, and inclusion. I think that should be expanded, and I also think that additional access should be given, just considering the circumstances like this one."

If Jackson State and Florida A&M run the table for the remainder of the season, it will be difficult for the NCAA, SWAC, voters, and fans not to want one or either both teams playing in the FCS playoffs.

We shall see.