FAMU Athletics undergoing hiring freeze due to $2 million deficit

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By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 20, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The numbers have been crunched and a decision has been made; Florida A&M will not fill some of the open 15 positions it has in their athletics department to save money.

Athletic Director Dr. John Eason says there's a budget deficit of around $2 million.

"We know up front what we need to do. Let's work toward that now," Eason said. "It gives us from now until June to come up with this amount of money, as opposed to in June, trying to figure out how we're going to get it done."

Only jobs considered essential, such as the compliance director, will be filled during the freeze.

The goal is to save between $600,000 and $1 million.

"We're on track," Eason said. "It may not seem like that, but we can see what we're doing and we're trying to move forward."

The department hopes to raise funds to cover the rest of the $2 million gap.

"We have to now do what all universities have to do; the boosters, alumni, supporters have to step in," said FAMU Boosters Director Tommy Mitchell.

Mitchell says the boosters have put a plan together to get graduates to give $4 million a year.

"That's very easy because we're talking about $100, $200, $300. It sounds grandiose, but it's what we're capable of doing," he explained. "So we now have to step up if we truly love the institution."

"We've got to look out for our fans, all of our stakeholders," added Eason. "That's what we're trying to do."

When asked if Rattlers fans should be alarmed, Eason said, "They should give."

Dr. Eason says they have not calculated exactly how much money will be saved from the hiring freeze. He says the Athletic Assessment Committee will be meeting Monday to go over things.

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