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Florida State to review renaming Doak Campbell Stadium

Florida State president John Thrasher said Monday he has asked athletic director David Coburn to review whether the school should remove Doak Campbell's name from the football stadium.

Last week, former Seminoles linebacker Kendrick Scott started a petition asking for the name to come down over Campbell's pro-segregation views while serving as university president.

"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 asking that the stadium no longer bear his name. 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," Thrasher said in a statement.

Campbell also spearheaded the construction and completion of the football stadium that now bears his name.

Campbell was against the admission of black students on campus and an article in the Tampa Morning Tribune in 1957 discussed his opposition to white students attending desegregation meetings, information that has started to resurface over the past several weeks, including on the Twitter page of former fullback Freddie Stevenson.

Campbell's grandson, Doak Campbell III, defended his grandfather in an interview with The Palm Beach Post on Monday.

"I'm extremely disappointed that somebody is trying to change the name," Campbell III told The Post. "It sounds like he was trying to keep the school from being embroiled in a hot political topic that might have adverse consequences. He was not promoting segregation. He was concerned about protecting the tranquility of the school and not let it be dragged into something whether he believed it or not. That was his primary concern.

"As long as I knew him, he never professed that segregationism was something that was good. He was always promoting the advancement of Black education."

As of Monday afternoon, over 2,100 people had signed Scott's petition. Scott suggested renaming the stadium after former coach Bobby Bowden.