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Rattlers seek return to Mid-Eastern conference

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Florida A&M is trying to rejoin the
Division I-AA Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, a week after
delaying its move to Division I-A.

Florida A&M sent a letter to the NCAA on Monday outlining its
desire to return to Division I-AA status and the MEAC.

While the school awaits a response from the conference, MEAC
officials are trying to work out a 2004 schedule that would have
Florida A&M with a full slate of league games.

"Obviously that will be addressed in the very near future,"
MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas said. "By no means is anything
finalized at this juncture."

Florida A&M aborted its effort to move up in football when the
school's trustees voted 7-5 to support a recommendation by
university President Fred Gainous to delay the move.

Gainous said the delay was necessary because the school's
football stadium lacks Division I-A facilities and its field house
compares poorly with high school facilities.

The school was without a complete football schedule for the
upcoming season with contracts to play at Oklahoma, Illinois and
Virginia Tech. Toledo was the team's only home game, but that game
has been removed from the schedule, interim athletic director
Joseph Ramsey II said.

The school had $450,000 guarantees for its game at Oklahoma and
Illinois.