Name change coming? Panel rejects keeping Doak Campbell's name on Florida State stadium
The stadium long known for where the Seminoles play may have a new name soon.
A panel of Florida State University’s anti-racism task force voted against keeping Doak S. Campbell’s name on the school’s football stadium, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Members of the Historical Legacy Subcommittee voted 6-2 to reject a recommendation by FSU history professor and subcommittee chair Maxine Jones to keep the name. Campbell was president of Florida State in 1941-57.
At issue is Campbell’s legacy, which came into question last year when former FSU linebacker Kendrick Scott, who played in the early 1990s, created a petition to remove Campbell’s name because of what Scott perceived to be his pro-segregation stance as president.
Campbell is credited with leading the transition from a women’s college, raising the university’s academic profile and leading athletics from its former site at Centennial Field to a new stadium on campus. It was named after him in 1950.
At its previous meeting, Jones discussed with committee members Campbell’s tenure, including issues that today are considered racially insensitive, such as keeping the campus segregated and banning FAMU students from on-campus activities.
Despite that history, she said she didn’t find documented evidence that Campbell was an outward racist, but rather a president following the rules of the day, including those from the then-Board of Control, who oversaw state universities.
In Scott’s original petition, he said that the former president’s segregationist views are divisive. “Therefore views his name should be removed from a stadium that has been home to many Black football players helping to build the school and the tradition to what it has become today: a national treasure.”
The next step is the panel will continue to discuss the naming issue at its next meeting. A final recommendation has to be approved by the full 30-member President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion.