In an effort to cut costs and balance its budget, Florida A&M will take a bus instead of flying to Little Rock for its August 31 game against Arkansas, athletic director Milton Overton Jr. confirmed to the Tallahassee Democrat.
The Rattlers will depart on the morning of August 30 – one day before kickoff – for an estimated 10-hour, 673-mile road trip from Tallahassee. That’s four days after the Rattlers open the season against Texas Southern at home.
FAMU is expected to be paid “about $750,000” by Arkansas for participating in the game, Overton told the Democrat.
Coach Alex Wood told the newspaper the Rattlers will be ready for the Razorbacks, despite the shortened week of preparation.
“It’s a Thursday game on ESPN and we encourage everyone to watch,” Wood said.
FAMU sports information director Vaughn Wilson said that opting to travel by bus will allow the program to free up money for flights during conference games later in the season. The Rattlers’ schedule includes road games at Norfolk State (Virginia), Hampton (Virginia) and Morgan State (Maryland).
“It comes down to finances,” Wilson told the newspaper. “Just trying to be responsible with the money we have and taking a look at things. It’s a stretch, it’s not something we want to do, but it’s something we have to do financially for that game.
“Our goal is to turn this department into a profitable department. It requires hard, tough decisions. … Like I said, it’s not something we wish to put the kids under, but we make our accommodations around it.”
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