August 4, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - A budget deficit has FAMU rebuilding the athletic department.
FAMU’s projected operating budget for 2014 is negative $1,189,319.
As a result new athletic director Kellen Winslow Sr. has shaken up the program by reducing staff sizes and even suspending both men's golf and tennis programs
"Do we have a deficit? Have we been overspending and then having the money made up through the institution? Yes we have. Some people call that institutional support," said Winslow
FAMU’s budget deficit has been accumulating each year. In 2013 it was $7,842,789 million dollars. But it's projected to jump to $9,032,108 this year. Administrators believe a drop in fan support is to blame.
"In our particular case we had a decline in attendance in games over the number of years which put us in a position of having to make some adjustments or account for the change in participation,” said FAMU President Dr. Elmira Mangum
At a town hall meeting both Winslow and President Mangum fielded concerns from boosters and stake holders. Winslow says investing in a less costly sport like men's and women's basketball may be part of the solution. But administrators want to see a renewed fan interest in the entire FAMU athletic program.
"It's not conditional love either you're FAMU and you love us or you don't. You know saying you love us and not buying season tickets it's kind of contradictory," said Winslow.
FAMU officials say that attendance at football games has dropped from an average of more than 18,764 people in 2011 to 11,170 in 2013.