Saint Augustine’s University football is 0-7 this season — but given the account by freshly fired head coach Howard Feggins — it’s impressive that the Raleigh HBCU has been able to play all seven games.
Feggins, who was fired on Friday, held a news conference on Monday to talk about the challenges he faced in just over seven months as the program’s head coach.
With dozens of his former players around him for support, Feggins revealed the Division II HBCU had challenges getting proper equipment due to unpaid bills and had to practice on concrete without a full-time athletic trainer while turf was being installed in its stadium— during the season. Feggins says he made arrangements to secure a practice field within Wake County, but needed proof of insurance from the school. He says administrators were unresponsive.
“During the two weeks time I was sending emails to administration, trying to get the COI so that my team can have the best chance to compete on Saturday. I got no response,” Feggins said. “One day I sent three emails to administration and never heard back. I was so frustrated about the lack of communication, but more importantly, the mental and physical well-being of our student athletes that I emailed the administration on forfeiting our Bowie State game.”
Feggins says his threat of forfeit finally elicited a response from the administration.
“I kept saying, Why? Why should I put our young man in harm’s way when the administration not showing they care who allows a football team to practice on concrete, basically a high-tempo walkthrough and now go play a fast, physical game on Saturday without proper preparation. As I said, I finally got an email back from the Chief of Staff (Dr. John E. Smith), saying. ‘We cannot forfeit a game, but take a look at the grass beside Google Hall and St. Agnes Hospital.”
The suggested area, Feggins said, was far from suitable.
“Is it wrong of me to protect my players knowing that they were not properly prepared to play a football game? I kept saying, Do they not understand what it takes to play the game?”
St. Augustine’s played the game against Bowie State, falling 10-7 against the CIAA and HBCU power.
A few weeks later, Feggins says he was promptly fired as the school’s head coach a few weeks later for playing two ineligible players. He says the university over-estimated how much Cameron Page and Nyron Campbell-Adams actually played.
Feggins says Page played three snaps, while Campbell-Adams dressed for one game but didn’t play.
Saint Augustine’s University officials declined to comment following the news conference. He’s the fourth head coach the program has had in the past five years.