Former Radford head coach Byron Samuels is having to build from the ground up at Florida A&M. Seven Rattlers transferred out this summer and the whole roster was basically rebuilt. FAMU is also suffering from a postseason ban due to APR violations handed down by the NCAA. It was already expected to be a tough season in Tallahassee but now it may even be tougher for Samuels.
Two JUCO transfers, Jamell Walker and Damien Davis, are off the Rattlers roster and have had their scholarships pulled after it was discovered they had false transcripts. The Journal News of Westchester, New York explains the situation:
WCC assistant basketball coach Richard Fields was fired Oct. 16 after admitting he provided a phony transcript for Walker and forged the signature of an administrator on an eligibility form for Walker, said WCC spokesman Pat Hennessey. Walker and Davis were juniors at FAMU, an NCAA Division I program in Tallahassee, Florida.
"He manufactured a fake transcript," Hennessey said of Fields. "Jamell took one course here. The transcript said he earned a full degree and graduated."
Davis' transcript reflects "significantly more credits that he actually earned here," said Hennessey, without being more specific. He did not say who WCC believed was responsible for altering Davis' academic record.
Hennessey confirmed that the New York State Office of the Inspector General is aware of the situation. "No criminal charges have yet been filed," he said.
With both Walker and Davis gone it means that FAMU only has 11 players on their roster and only 10 likely active with Charleston Southern transfer Malcolm Bernard expected to redshirt this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Florida A&M has been picked to finish last this season in the preseason MEAC Coaches Poll. The Rattlers will begin their season November 14 and 15 with back-to-back road games at Clemson and at USC Upstate.