Women in athletics spotlight

New Members of FAMU’s Athletic Compliance Office pose for picture.
Photo Courtesy of FAMU

There are new female members of Florida A&M’s athletic compliance office who are ready to serve and
are fully committed to the success of the university’s student-athletes.

Following the debacle last fall of 27 football players being ineligible for their first game against the
University of North Carolina, FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson restated his commitment to
establishing an athletics compliance office to prevent a similar crisis in the future. He approved a plan to
expand this program back in July 2022.

As of January 23rd, six of seven newly established positions have been filled. Of those six positions, five
are occupied by women who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this new office as well as a
drive to assist FAMU student-athletes.

In addition, FAMU has also hired a new vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, Tiffany
Dawn Sykes, to relieve interim AD Michael Smith and replace former Vice President and Director Kortne
Gosha. Dawn-Sykes has been in the game for over 20 years and most recently held the position at
Dartmouth College as an executive senior associate athletics director for varsity sports.

After getting to know a few of the new female members of the athletic compliance office I was able to
better understand the administration’s skill set and motives as it relates to propelling the athletic

Brittney Johnson, senior associate athletic director for compliance, explains how her decade-long
experience in the field of athletics has prepared her for this new environment.

“I was blessed and fortunate to work under a few athletic administrators who are now vice presidents and
athletic directors at different institutions, and they put me in situations to grow, learn and allowed me the
room to take on more responsibility that may not have been in my job description,” Johnson said. “Going
through different experiences at all of my previous institutions has fully prepared me,” she added.

In recent events, there’s been a lot of debate on the level of responsibility that falls on athletes to make
sure they are eligible to play. When asked, Kelley Bickham, coordinator of athletics compliance,
certification and eligibility explains how her and her team are devoted to assisting student athletes, but
believe it is primarily up to them.

“As the athletic support team and administration, we are here to help guide our student-athletes to be
successful, but it ultimately falls on the student-athlete to get the work done,” Bickham said.

Lori Goodart, associate athletic director for compliance- financial aid and benefits, could not be reached
for comments.

FAMU Athletics can expect to see pivotal changes within the athletic programs from these new chain
makers of women dominating their new field and positions.