Florida A&M college football expects to play season opener at North Carolina despite eligibility issues

Florida A&M’s football season opener at North Carolina on Saturday is expected to be played despite reports that up to 20 Rattlers players may be ineligible or haven’t cleared their paperwork to transfer.

A FAMU spokesman confirmed to ESPN on Friday that the team expects to play.

North Carolina coach Mack Brown and Tar Heels school officials also told ESPN they expect Saturday’s game to proceed. The game is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET (ACC Network).

As of 2:15 pm ET, the FAMU team hadn’t boarded a flight to Chapel Hill for the game.

Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons told ABC27 in Tallahassee that there were 20 ineligible players due to academics or eligibility after transferring. He said only seven offensive linemen are eligible.

He said whether to play is up to the players, ABC27 reported.

Florida A&M is scheduled to receive a $450,000 guarantee for playing the game, which is part of a celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities this week on the UNC campus.

“They’ve got some eligibility issues,” a UNC source told ESPN. “You can’t get on a plane if you’re not certified. They’re meeting right now.

“I think they’re still coming. We have not been told that they’re not coming. We have been told by the AD and president that they’re still coming.”

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