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Report: Florida A&M intends to play Week 0 matchup vs. UNC despite eligibility issues with roster

Rattlers have 20 players who are ineligible to play on Saturday night due to academics or transfer.

Florida A&M Pro Day Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Update: Florida A&M does intend to play its season opener at North Carolina on Saturday despite earlier rumors of a potential cancellation due to eligibility issues on the roster. The Rattlers will receive $450,000 guarantee from UNC if the game is played as part of the agreement for the opener.

On the eve of the Week 0 opening slate for the 2022 college football season, there is weirdness surrounding the scheduled matchup between North Carolina and Florida A&M in Chapel Hill, NC.

ABC 27 sports director Alison Posey reported on Friday that FAMU has 20 players that are ineligible due to academics and transfer issues, per head coach Willie Simmons. She later reported that Simmons has appealed with the NCAA about their circumstance and have left the decision about playing up to their players despite potentially not having the requisite depth against UNC.

Steven Gaither of HBCU Gameday reported that the team was delayed in their departure from Tallahassee, FL, but that school officials were still making plans for the game to be played.

This is a disaster right out the gate for FAMU, who went 9-3 in their first season in the SWAC last year and made an appearance in the FCS playoffs. Among the returnees for the Rattlers is linebacker Isaiah Land, who won the 2021 Buck Buchanan Award for FCS Defensive Player of the Year. Their matchup against North Carolina is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.