When Joseph P. Ramsey replaced J. R. E. Lee III as the third Athletic Director in less than three years, he said changes would be made.
Ramsey said changes would be made to the Sports Information and Marketing departments as well as each sport.
Ramsey also said he was going to establish a scholarship endowment for athletics.
And Ramsey said these things would be done within the next five years.
But Ramsey never said anything about not being around to see them.
Ramsey officially resigned Monday as athletic director effective April 1, but will remain athletic director until a successor is named.
There had been weeks of speculation as to whether he was resigning.
When asked last week by The Famuan about the rumors of his resignation, Ramsey answered, “If I were, you would know.”
When Ramsey was hired as athletic director six months ago, there were questions as to whether he could be and would be the savior of an athletic program that was drowning in debt.
Some people said Ramsey might have had the best chance to resurrect the collective damage left by his predecessors because of his familiarity with FAMU athletics.
Ramsey graduated from FAMU in 1973 with a bachelor of science in education. He was a member of the track team. After receiving his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Florida and Florida State, he returned to FAMU in 1997 teaching sports management.
Ramsey then took a position in the the president for athletics.
“I would like to thank Dr. Ramsey for his dedicated service to the University in the realm of intercollegiate athletics,” Interim President Castell V. Bryant said in a press release.
Among his feats, Ramsey got the football team reclassified to Division I-AA and brought all sports back into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Despite the good he did, many were upset that Ramsey did not extend the contract of Football Head Coach Billy Joe.
“A year ago, I inherited a number of issues and problems that needed to be addressed before we could move forward,” Ramsey said in a press release.
“Although considerable progress has been made, it is unfortunate that much more is needed before this ship can sail smoothly.”
Ramsey’s performance was often commended by his co-workers.
In the Feb. 27, 2004 edition of The Famuan, shortly after Ramsey became the interim athletic director, Director of Sports Information Alvin Hollins said Ramsey gave hope that the program would start to turn around in the right direction.
However, Hollins also said it depends on the direction the president and administration want to take.
Ramsey’s departure seems abrupt to many people in the FAMU community, several questions still remain.
Did he and administration see eye to eye? Was the department’s debt too much to handle? Did he inherit too many problems?
Those questions still linger in the minds of many.
And Ramsey’s resignation did not help answer any of them.
Contact Arize Ifejika at firstname.lastname@example.org