Update 11/12/14: Florida A&M University Athletics Director Kellen Winslow Sr. has issued a letter of apology to the campus community.
“Upon my arrival, it was evident that we had numerous issues that required immediate attention and I focused my energies on addressing those issues," Winslow wrote in a statement put out by FAMU.
"Acting with the best of intentions and my zeal for positive changes, some of my actions were conveyed in a manner that were inconsistent with my goals and objectives and offended some members of the Rattler Community. To those I have offended, I offer my sincerest apologies.”
Winslow has been criticized for the way he fired FAMU head coach Earl Holmes and the rest of the football coaching staff.
A Florida A&M University Board of Trustees committee wants an emergency meeting to discuss its vote of no-confidence in the school’s Athletics Director. The committee is signaling its disappointment with Kellen Winslow Sr.’s leadership.
Winslow was the first person hired by new President Elmira Mangum. His job was to get the school’s athletics department out of debt and increase turnout at games. But in the eyes of some FAMU stakeholders and officials, like Trustee member Kelvin Lawson, he’s made a few missteps.
“Well, when you say a program needs to be torn down and rebuilt, I think it’s clear that you don’t have an appreciation for the history,” Lawson says.
Winslow fired FAMU’s head football coach Earl Holmes right before the school’s homecoming football game in October. He was consequently booed by students during the school’s homecoming convocation.
But Lawson says the committee’s vote wasn’t just because of Holmes’ abrupt dismissal. Rather, it was grounded in what Lawson sees as Winslow’s indifference towards FAMU’s tradition and history.
Meanwhile, board member Torey Alston says, ultimately, the handling of Winslow’s position is under President Mangum’s jurisdiction.
“Although the contract with the Athletic Director is with the board, it’s a decision of the president, and we will respect the president to make her decisions as it relates to her leadership team,” Alston says.
Alston says the board is expressing its desire to be more involved in school decisions. The athletics oversight committee, comprised of trustees Alston and Lawson, and student body president Tonnette Graham, made the vote of no-confidence unanimously.
FAMU officials say the earliest an entire board meeting can be held on the matter is Monday, the 17th.