Social media firestorm still raving over scoreboard donation

By Maya Lune Jean-Charles
Outlook writer

Firestorms on social media over touchy issues aren’t uncommon. Not even when it comes to a college football scoreboard.

It’s been almost a month since Florida State donated a used scoreboard to FAMU – a gesture considered to be kind in most quarters. However, the gift remains a hot topic on social media.
Some call it a hand-me-down. Others are downright bitter over matters that have nothing to do with the scoreboard.

Due to current renovations to Doak Campbell Stadium, FSU decided to replace its scoreboard, which has been in place for more than a decade. Instead of scrapping it, FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox signed off on giving it to FAMU. Athletic director Milton Overton accepted the gift for Bragg Stadium.
It’s timely. The Rattlers’ current scoreboard has been malfunctioning for the past two seasons. Overton estimated that a new replacement will cost more than twice the expense for setting up the gift from FSU.

Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for FAMU alumni to react – some favorable and others not so much.
“Football scoreboard?” said Kenton Jamar in a post on FAMU Alumni’s Facebook. Thanks but no thanks, and yes it is a pride issue.

“The pride comes from our dealings with FSU and the State when it comes to the engineering school. It’s sad when people forget the recent past, and past when it comes to FAMU’s law school in 1965-66.”
At the heart of some of the disagreement, some FAMU supporters are conflicted over what the used scoreboard will cost.

But Monk Bonasorte, a senior associate athletic director at FSU, said the scoreboard was simply a goodwill gesture.

“It’s a neighboring school (and) if we can support the program we will,” Bonasorte said. “We had the opportunity to give them a piece of equipment. It’s better than throwing it away. We are both state schools.”

Athletic department administrators at FAMU don’t understand what the fuss is about.
“The scoreboard was a great decision,” said Vaughn Wilson, sports information director. “For the last few years we haven’t had a working scoreboard. It’s an improvement there’s cost to operate games, but it’s just a great opportunity.”