FAMU to Open Season on ESPNU
Kickoff time set for 12 noon • Rattlers will play four nationally-televised games this season
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug. 9) – The inaugural Jake Gaither Classic will take place on Aug. 26 at Bragg Memorial Stadium. Today the FAMU Department of Athletics announced that the game has been moved to a 12 noon kickoff time to allow the game to be shown on ESPNU. This Nationally Televised game will be the broadcasts to kick off the 2017 football season. The Rattlers will reach a national audience four times this season.
“The exposure on the premier college football network is part of our strategic recruitment and branding effort. Millions of college football fans will have the opportunity to watch the debut of this year’s Rattler football team and witness the launch of the Jake Gaither Classic. Placing the Jake Gaither Classic on national television is an outstanding way to share the greatness of FAMU and honor Coach Gaither’s legacy,” FAMU Director of Athletics Milton Overton said.
FAMU will appear on ESPNU Aug. 26 for the Jake Gaither Classic, the SEC Network on Aug. 31 (Thurs.) against Arkansas, ESPNU on Sept. 28 (Thurs.) against North Carolina Central and on an undefined ESPN network on Nov.18 against Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Blue Florida Classic. This will be the first time in some time that the Rattlers will make four appearances on national television in a season.
The Jake Gaither Classic will also be a celebration of three amazing national championship football teams. The 1947, 1957 and 1977 football teams will be recognized. In addition, the undefeated 1977 Rattlers (11-0), under the leadership of Rudy Hubbard, will be honored on the field at the game. Hubbard’s team was the only NCAA team at any division to go undefeated in 1977. The game marks the 40th Anniversary of their unblemished season and the last undefeated team in FAMU history.
The Jake Gaither Classic will pit the Rattlers from the MEAC against the Tigers of Texas Southern University of the SWAC. Along with football, the game will also feature a battle of two of the best bands in the country. FAMU’s famed Marching “100” will square off against TSU’s “Ocean of Soul,” in what is sure to be an amazing halftime performance.
The game is in line with the FAMU Athletic Department’s five-year strategic plan for more visibility for both the sports teams and the university. “Our partnership with ESPN allows for opportunities to bolster the great things that happen at FAMU everyday. It will also be beneficial for our football coaches to show recruits our brand. It is a positive step in the process of building champions,” Overton said.
Tickets for the game are available now at the FAMU ticket office, located in the Al Lawson Center starting at just $15. Support the team with season tickets which will be available until the kickoff of the first game starting at just $135. They can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 850-599-3141.