TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum is reviewing the temporary suspension of the school’s men’s tennis and men’s golf programs, a FAMU statement says.
FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow recently suspended the programs due to a $7 million deficit which the Athletic Department piled up over the past several years and a projected operating deficit for 2014-2015, the statement said.
The university blames a fall off in attendance and ticket sales revenue for an increased deficit in the athletics program. Attendance at Bragg Memorial Stadium plunged from an average of 18,764 per game in 2011 to 11,170 in 2013.
The statement said Mangum will hold discussions with “university stakeholders” that will include a review of options for permanently lifting the suspension.
“These focus group discussions will be a part of a comprehensive review of the long term viability of our athletic program with our Board of Trustees,” she said. “Support for the revenue-generating sports and the non-revenue sports alike is critical if the university is to maintain its competitiveness.”
Should the suspension hold, the number of FAMU athletic teams will drop from 16 to 14, which the statement said, is the minimum number required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for member schools to remain competitive as a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) athletic program.