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 the Galimore-Powell Field House “without proper permission,” according to a statement Simmons tweeted Friday night. Here’s what you need to know:
- Simmons said the video was “directed by a prominent rapper” and that it “contained graphic language that is inconsistent with Florida A&M’s core values, principles and beliefs.”
- The coach also said an internal investigation is underway to “determine who authorized use not only of the Galimore-Powell athletic facility but also of licensed apparel that may violate the university’s trademark and licensing agreements.”
- Simmons’ announcement of the suspension comes just three days before the Southwestern Athletic Conference media day, which is scheduled for July 25.
- The Rattlers open their 2023 game schedule with a game against Jackson State on Sept. 3.
What else did Simmons say?
“While 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. Due to this unfortunate situation, as the head coach of football, I am suspending virtually all football-related activities until further notice,” the coach said on Twitter.
“It is a privilege to wear the colors orange and green and as a football program our young men have failed to live up to the standards set before us. You will all learn from this mishap 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 freshman season. It was Florida A&M’s first winning season since 2011. The Rattlers finished last season 9-2.
(Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty)