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Florida State Panel Does Not Recommend Changing Doak Campbell Stadium Name

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2021

Florida State fans walk past the statue of former coach Bobby Bowden before an NCAA college football game against Miami in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

A Florida State University task force voting against recommending a name change to Doak Campbell Stadium on Wednesday.

According to Byron Dobson of the Tallahassee Democrat, the presidential task force focusing on anti-racism, equity and inclusion voted against the measure by a 12-7 margin.

FSU was a segregated school under Campbell's presidency from 1941 to 1957.

The measure to potentially move Campbell's name from the football stadium was moved to the presidential task force after the Historical Legacy Subcommittee had a 3-3 deadlock in its vote.

While the task force did not recommend removing Campbell's name, it did recommend that the athletic department move forward with "high-profile" recognition of Black and underrepresented minority student athletes at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Per Dobson, Historical Legacy Subcommittee chief Maxine Jones researched Campbell's past actions after former Florida State linebacker Kendrick Scott created a petition to remove Campbell's name from the stadium last year.

Jones found that Campbell made decisions in lockstep with segregationism.

Campbell discouraged both support for desegregation in the campus newspaper and social protests involving students from FSU and Florida A&M, which is a historically Black university.

Jones did note, however, that Campbell had a good relationship with Florida A&M presidents William Gray and George Gore, and that he was appointed to be part of a race relations advisory committee by Gov. LeRoy Collins.

Florida State's football stadium has been known as Doak Campbell Stadium since opening in 1950, and it has played host to three teams that went on to win national championships.

Since 2004, the stadium has been referred to as Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium in full as a means of honoring legendary coach Bobby Bowden, who won 304 games and two national titles during his 34 seasons at FSU.

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