By: Lanetra Bennett
July 14, 2014
Tallahassee, FL - The temporary suspension of the FAMU Men's Tennis and Men's Golf programs is under review by the university president.
The suspension was first reported last month due to a $7 million deficit in the athletics department.
Jimmy Miller, FAMU's Vice President of Communications and External Relations, says the review does not mean Dr. Mangum is overturning Winslow's decision to suspend the men's golf and men's tennis programs. He says it's going to be an examination of how the athletics department can get out of its hole.
Miller says, "Her wanting to take a look at this has nothing to do with her agreement or disagreement with Kellen over his move."
Miller says the review will look at the athletics department as a whole.
Athletic Director Kellen Winslow recently suspended the programs because of a $7 million deficit accumulated by the Athletic Department over the past several years and a projected operating deficit for 2014-2015.
"We have to look at the global issue. There needs to be some systemic changes to our athletics programs. Everyone agrees on that." Says, Miller.
Miller says a large part of the financial problem is significant declines in attendance and revenues from tickets sales at Bragg Memorial Stadium. Administrators say attendance dropped from an average of 18,764 people per game in 2011 to 11,170 in 2013.
"We all share the president's vision of what we want the school to become. Athletics has to be a very important part of that vision." Miller says.
The review will consist of focus groups of a diversity of interests. Miller says dialogue will include the deficit, conditions of athletic facilities, and finances to address those conditions.
A specific timeline has not been set.
Press Release: FAMU
President Mangum to Review Suspension of FAMU Athletic Programs
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The temporary suspension of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) men’s tennis and men’s golf programs is now under review by President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D.
Athletic Director Kellen Winslow recently suspended the programs due to a $7 million deficit accumulated by the Athletic Department over the past several years and a projected operating deficit for 2014-2015.
Commenting on the decision to temporarily suspend the programs, Dr. Mangum said, “I am extremely supportive of and committed to the bold and necessary leadership steps that Athletic Director Winslow is taking to restructure and restore the program.”
Dr. Mangum has identified a need to consult with university stakeholders regarding the decision. Discussions with focus groups and supporters will include a review of alternative options geared toward allowing the university to permanently lift the suspension.
Dr. Mangum further stated that, “These focus group discussions will be a part of a comprehensive review of the long term viability of our athletic program with our Board of Trustees.”
Dr. Mangum added, “Support for the revenue generating sports and the non-revenue sports alike is critical if the university is to maintain its competitiveness.”
A sustained suspension of the two teams would reduce the number of athletic teams at the university from 16 to 14, the minimum number required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for member schools to remain competitive as a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) athletic program.
The increased deficit for the athletics program was in large part due to significant declines in attendance and revenues from tickets sales at Bragg Memorial Stadium. Attendance at the stadium dropped from an average attendance of 18,764 per game in 2011 to an average of 11,170 per game in 2013.
News Release: FAMU
June 26, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Athletics announced Wednesday afternoon that it will suspend the men’s golf and men’s tennis programs as part of the institution’s ongoing efforts to address the operational deficit in athletics, as well as Title IX disparities.
“Clearly we would rather not have taken such action,” said FAMU Athletics Director Kellen Winslow. “However, our current fiscal situation makes it imperative for us to move in this direction. As we continue to support our student-athletes with scholarships in pursuit of their academic goals, we will continue to seek ways to return them to athletic competition.”
All scholarship commitments to current student-athletes will be honored for the 2014-15 school year.
As a result of today’s decision, coupled with the suspension of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams in 2012, FAMU Athletics has reduced its sports lineup to 14 teams – the NCAA minimum to retain Division I status.
REVISED FAMU SPORTS OFFERINGS
Men’s Sports (6)
Women’s Sports (8)