Tallahassee, Fla.—Florida A&M has banned its players from the team’s facilities after a rap video featuring some Rattlers was shot in their locker room without proper permission being granted.
Coach Willie Simmons told The Associated Press on Saturday that the team facility, weight room, and access to the stadium field were off-limits to all players until he and the administration could sort out who was involved in the video shoot.
The only exception is players who need medical treatment from doctors and athletic trainers, he said.
Mr. Simmons said they planned to meet with players who were visible in the video over the weekend and a team meeting is scheduled for Monday. The players were not immediately identified.
“We’ll determine at that point if more severe penalties need to be handed down,” Mr. Simmons told the AP.
The rapper in the video is Real Boston Richey, who is from Tallahassee, where Florida A&M’s campus is located. Mr. Richey, whose real name is Jalen Foster, performed at Florida A&M’s homecoming game last season.
Mr. Simmons said he was alerted Friday by the FAMU administration to the video posted on social media. He later announced the suspension of team activities with a tweet.
Mr. Simmons said in the post that while he is proponent of free speech and all forms of musical expressions, the team has a responsibility to protect the university’s image.
“The video contained graphic language that is not consistent with Florida A&M’s core values, principles, and beliefs, and an internal investigation is underway to determine who authorized the use of not only the athletic facility at Galimore-Powell, but also licensed apparel that potentially violates university branding and licensing agreements,” Mr. Simmons wrote.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference will hold its football media day for its 12 members on Tuesday in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Simmons said Florida A&M still plans to attend.
FAMU athletic department spokesman Josh Padilla said quarterback Jeremy Moussa and defensive back Javan Morgan are expected to take part in SWAC media day and don’t appear to have been involved in the unauthorized filming of the video in the locker room.
The Rattlers are scheduled to have their first practice on Aug. 4. They open the season at home against Jackson State on Sept. 3.
Mr. Simmons has posted a 33–12 record since taking over in December 2017, including three straight nine win seasons.