Earl Holmes files civil suit against FAMU BOT

Former FAMU Football Head coach Earl Holmes filed a civil suit Monday seeking "closure" for his firing. (Duane Robin/The Famuan)

Former Florida A&M University head football coach Earl Holmes filed a Civil Lawsuit Monday at the Leon County Courthouse against FAMU’s Board of Trustees.

Holmes and his attorney, Tim Jansen, held a press conference outlining six counts of complaints in the Lawsuit.

He was not permitted to answer any questions because of a pending Lawsuit. Holmes made a statement saying that everything happened too quickly.

“I signed a four year deal, and I’m just hoping for some closure,” Holmes said. “Things seemed like they happened overnight fast, and to me it’s not personal…at the end of the day you have to do what is right, I’m just hoping for some closure.”

Holmes and his attorney are suing FAMU through the Board of Trustees for damages from breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, fraud in the inducement and negligent misrepresentation relating to FAMU’s improper termination of Holmes as FAMU’s head football coach.

They are also seeking recovery from unpaid wages and other damages stemming therefrom.

Tim Jansen took questions for Holmes giving insight to why this Lawsuit was filed.

“He (Holmes) had representatives reach out to the school before any Lawsuit was filed and the general counsel basically informed them that they would not be honoring the terms of the contract,” Jansen said. “They explicitly told him and his representative at that time to contact a law firm here in Tallahassee about 45 days ago.”

Holmes is a native of Tallahassee, a graduate of FAMU DRS and a former FAMU linebacker, who was inducted into FAMU’s football Hall of Fame. He played ten seasons in the NFL, six with the Pittsburgh Steelers, one with the Cleveland Browns and three with the Detroit Lions before retiring.   

Kellen Winslow Sr., the former FAMU athletic director who resigned, was responsible for firing coach Holmes during FAMU’s homecoming.

Amid a few rumors about their relationship, coach Holmes doesn’t believe the situation was personal. He humbly echoed that it was just business.

“I think Winslow left abruptly,” Jansen said. “He came in with a bang and left with a whimper…I doubt that AD Winslow knew the terms of the contract.”

Mr. Jansen and Mr. Holmes hope they can get this matter resolved as quickly as possible.