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FSU president issues statement on petition to rename Doak Campbell Stadium

Jesse Reed
Doak Campbell Stadium home of the Florida State Seminoles football team
Oct 29, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; General view of Doak Campbell Stadium during the game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

A former Florida State football player, Kendrick Scott, started a petition for the school to rename Doak Campbell Stadium. Now the university’s president, John Thrasher, has responded to the petition with a statement.

Petition to rename Doak Campbell Stadium cites segregationist views

Dr. Kendrick Scott, who played for Florida State from 1991-94, penned a petition on Change.org. In it, he asked that Doak Campbell Stadium be renamed. Scott also suggested that Bobby Bowden be honored as the next coach the stadium is named after, and suggested that Bobby Bowden field be renamed Charlie Ward field.

Scott also cited Campbell’s “non inclusive views of blacks as an segregationist” and called them “divisive.”

“The stadium at FSU was named after Doak Campbell a former FSU President.  While, the tradition has been preserved, in reflection his non inclusive views of blacks as an segregationist is divisive, therefore his name should be removed from a stadium that has been home to many Black football players helping to build the school and the tradition to what it has become today: a national treasure. Therefore, this petition seeks to change the name of the stadium to the Bobby Bowden Stadium and change Bobby Bowden field to Charlie Ward field.  Charlie Ward was recently polled as the greatest Seminole of all time and rightfully so.  He broke a modern day color barrier by being the first Black football player to win a Heisman Trophy at a Florida School.  He remains the most decorated college football player in history.”

Another former Florida State player, Freddie Stevenson, also shared his support for Scott’s petition.

FSU President John Thrasher statement on Doak Campbell Stadium petition

Taking to Twitter Monday afternoon, Thrasher shared an image of a message he wrote on the petition to have Doak Campbell Stadium renamed.

Here is the message in full:

“I have been following with great interest the petitions circulating on social media asserting that Doak S. Campbell, FSU’s presient in 1947 during its transition from the Florida State College for Women, resisted integration and asking that the stadium no longer bear his name.” I have asked Athletics Directot David Coburn to immediately review this issue and make recommendations to me. I look forward to receiving his report soon.”

The football stadium, which is called “Doak” by many, has featured Campbell’s name since its inception back in 1950, when it could hold 15,000 people. Nowadays, the stadium can host more than 79,000 fans.

Needless to say, changing the name would be a huge deal.