It never ceases to fail. An athletic director at FAMU making another grave decision that doesn’t quite add up in the books. The last consequential judgment didn’t equate in the financial books, but this decision doesn’t add up in the book of logic. Actually, I think Athletic Director Joseph Ramsey II has stolen a page out of the book of stupid.
What athletic director, in his right mind, wouldn’t give Head Football Coach Billy Joe a contract extension at the point when it is critical to the future of FAMU football and the overall athletic program?
Luckily for Ramsey, Joe said he would not resign. Let’s face it: There aren’t too many coaches who would stick around after someone tells them, “I don’t support you; you’re not the coach I want here.”
Let’s also not forget President Gainous officially resigned as president of the University effective eight days from now.
This means Ramsey’s future as athletic director is not certain either. Let’s just say firing the man who’s the leader in coaching wins for Division I-AA (237) and the second winningest coach in FAMU football history (86) is not the legacy you want to leave.
Maybe Ramsey forgot it’s recruiting season for football. Coach Joe needs to be able to prove to recruits and prospective replacements for the unoccupied defensive coordinator position that he has the support of the University and he will be the head coach of the football team for at least the next four years.
Furthermore, this move gives ammunition to other schools, such as B-CC, to persuade recruits not to attend FAMU. Also, with seven Division I-A schools in the state of Florida and bad publicity flying all around the university, FAMU can’t necessarily recruit with just its name at this moment in time.
If Ramsey doesn’t want Joe here anymore, who does he actually have in mind to replace him? With our $700,000 deficit in the athletic department, FAMU doesn’t look attractive to a football coach.
The funniest thing about this situation, which is actually the saddest, is that in two days Ramsey has showcased his severe ineptitude for his position. Monday, Ramsey told the Orlando Sentinel Joe’s contract expires December 2005. However, it expires Dec. 31, 2006.
In Monday’s meeting with Joe, Ramsey told Joe his next evaluation would be chiefly based on the team having at least a 2.3 grade point average, at least 50 percent of his recruits coming from state high schools and his coaching staff becoming more visible in unpaid university events. But last year, Joe and Gainous signed a revised contract in which those provisions can be removed upon Joe’s request.
Ramsey put the cap on his incompetent two days with Tuesday’s announcement. He must have forgotten that there are two years left on Joe’s contract. It must have slipped Ramsey’s mind that there is a provision in the contract that says if Joe wins at least nine games in a season, he automatically receives a one-year extension.
The football team will be back in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference next season. So you can subtract the six losses incurred this season against Division I-A schools and add six wins against MEAC schools.
So there’s really nothing for coach Joe to worry about with the exception of any decisions made by his athletic director.
Travon McCall is a senior broadcast journalism student from Clinton, Md. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.