Transformation: Pay the coaches
By Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr.
President and Publisher
Commissioner Bill Proctor is right. The Florida A & M University Board of Trustees and the administration should do the right thing by honoring the contracts of two good men. Coach Earl Holmes and Coach Clemon Johnson deserve to be paid the remaining money due to them based upon a legal contract they signed with the university. Both of these gentlemen were fired last year by former Athletic Director Kellen Winslow; and both of them filed lawsuits, asking the university to honor the remaining years on their contract. Coach Holmes had two years left on his contract before being fired during homecoming week 2014. Coach Johnson was fired January of 2014, with a year left on his contract.
I believe the moral and legal approach is to resolve the lawsuits by reaching an agreement with the coaches. I am not going to address the issue of these men’s terminations; however, I believe that dragging this issue out will cost the university much more money. Legal fees and lawyers are not cheap; it is in the best interest of the university and the Board of Trustees to move beyond this quagmire. If we settle these lawsuits, it can create so much needed goodwill and positive spirit in the FAMU family.
Therefore, I am calling upon the Trustees and president to honor these coaches’ contracts. Please pay them what they are rightly due and end this impasse sooner than later. These men were raised on FAMU’s campus; they are both graduates of FAMU DRS and the university. Coach Holmes and Coach Johnson played professional sports; Coach Holmes football and Coach Johnson basketball. These gentlemen were inducted into the Florida A&M University’s Sports Hall of Fame. These coaches are family men, good citizens and contributed to the legacy of FAMU.
Finally, a contract must be honored, that is why people sign contracts and this is why it is now time for FAMU to end this chapter. I hope other leaders will join us in encouraging the university to do the right thing by Coach Holmes and Coach Johnson, pay them the money that both of them truly deserve.