Former FSU Football Player Starts Petition to Change Name of Florida State University’s Football Stadium

Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium at Florida State University. Photo: Artissimo Sports&Ent/Pinterest

A petition has been created by Dr. Kendrick Scott, a former FSU football player. Dr. Scott is calling for a name change to the current Doak S. Campbell Stadium at Florida State University (FSU). In the petition, created on Friday, June 19 on, Dr. Scott states that “this petition seeks to change the name of the stadium to the Bobby Bowden Stadium and change Bobby Bowden field to Charlie Ward field.” Charlie Ward Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player and former quarterback for FSU. 

According to Scott in the petition, “Charlie Ward was recently polled as the greatest Seminole of all time and rightfully so. He broke a modern-day color barrier by being the first Black football player to win a Heisman Trophy at a Florida School.  He remains the most decorated college football player in history.” 

The petition has so far earned over 2,500 signatures as of Wednesday’s date (June 24).

John Thrasher, the president of Florida State University, said on Monday, June 22 via a tweet that he is considering growing calls to change the name of the football stadium. “I have been following with great interest the petitions circulating on social media asserting that Doak S. Campbell, FSU’s president in 1947 during its transition from the Florida State College for Women, resisted integration and asked that the stadium no longer bear his name.”  Thrasher continued, “I have asked athletics director David Coburn to immediately review this issue and make recommendations to me. I look forward to receiving his report soon.”

Scott played for the Seminoles from 1991-1994. 

Dr. Kendrick Scott. Photo: Dr. Kendrick Scott Twitter

Scott said in the petition that Campbell’s “non-inclusive views of blacks as a segregationist is divisive, therefore 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.” 

Doak Sheridan Campbell. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Campbell supported the creation of an intercollegiate sports program and worked to bring it along slowly but surely, paralleling the development of the new university. One of his most important contributions was his support for the construction of a football stadium on campus. His goal was achieved when the stadium was opened in 1950 and named for him. In 2004, the field was named after football coach Bobby Bowden, which made the official name of the facility Bobby Bowden Field at Doak. S. Campbell Stadium.