The former Florida State football player who started a petition to have the name taken off Doak Campbell stadium because of Campbell’s segregationist decisions made when he was president of the school, says now is the time for change, and for Florida State to lead the way.
He was linebacker Kendrick Scott in the early 90s. Today, he’s Dr. Kendrick Scott, an associate professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton. And he said that in this era of social change, he wants to see his alma mater leading the way.
“I think Florida State has to make a statement, right? We’re making a statement to our stakeholders and those black players who are coming to school,” Scott said. “Now that this cat is out of the bag on this, as far as these recruits that are coming, they’re seeing what we’re doing. I think we have to make a statement because I love my school. So let’s make a statement to the rest of the country that we’re more inclusive Not divisive.”
Scott says it’s possible that a movement like this would not have gotten traction just a few months ago. But with major social changes underway and a new way of looking at the past as a hot-button topic, it was the time to do something.
“This is the tenor of the world,” Scott said. “This is not contained to just Florida State as you can see how big this thing got really fast. I don’t think there’s a critical mass of number of people because the petition has done the job. I mean, we’re everywhere.”
The petition has been signed over 26-hundred times, and it has already prompted a reaction from Florida State University president John Thrasher who requested that FSU Athletic Director David Coburn review the request and come back with a recommendation. But there has been some pushback, Scott says. But no so much about taking the name off as what name to put on.
“The pushback has been about the naming of the stadium,” Scott said. “I said that we should name it after Bobby Bowden. To me, that’s not a far stretch, because most of us thought it should be named after Bob about anyway. So I don’t think that’s a far stretch, but people have been caught up on like, what do we name it? The end goal is the goal is to have that name come down.”
Scott told me that he made an addendum to the petition. Originally, he suggested renaming it Bobby Bowden Stadium at Charlie Ward Field, but the former Heisman Trophy winner is not the kind of guy who would want that, so he’s changed the suggestion to Bobby Bowden Stadium at The Players Field in honor of all of the former FSU players who have played there.