Support organizations plan to stay put in giving to FAMU athletics

Kortne Gosha

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

Less than 24 hours after delivering an impactful speech about athletics at a banquet honoring the FAMU men’s basketball team, Kortne Gosha announced he’d resigned as athletic director.

The decision, announced last Wednesday, sent a jolt through the FAMU community. However, three main support organizations indicated they will continue to give financially to the university. 

Gosha was hired in the fall of 2019, replacing John Eason who also had a brief tenure. Neither FAMU president Larry Robinson nor Gosha give a reason for his departure.

“It won’t have any impact at all on the 220 quarterback Club,” said Eddie Jackson, president of the Club, which features athletic department personnel at its weekly luncheon. “We focus on the university, not the individual. We are all about FAMU and will keep doing what we have been doing.”

Col. Greg Clark, president of the FAMU National Alumni Association, said he expects its members to continue giving. Speaking only as a board member of the FAMU Boosters, Tommy Mitchell, said he expects fund-raising for athletics will continue.

“There is only one reason for the Boosters to organize and operate and that is to be supportive of the athletic department,” Mitchell said. “In as much as we can’t run the university, a decision was made that concerns all of us.”

“The question is this: if we don’t support the university who will.”

A day after Gosha’s resignation, Mike Smith was introduced as interim athletic director. He previously served in the position in 2013. 

Robinson introduced Smith to the coaches and other athletic personnel last Thursday, according to a release from the university.

Gosha had been behind several initiatives since taking over the department, including a Nike deal, renovation of Bragg Stadium and shepherding efforts that led to improvements in football, men’s basketball and baseball. He also ramped up fund-raising and made changes in season ticket sales for football.

“My alignment and core values are very important to me, and there is no secret that we created a transformational student-athlete experience second to none that has elevated Florida Agricultural & Mechanical that will place them on a trajectory far beyond my tenure,” Gosha said in a statement announcing his resignation.

“I am incredibly proud of the work and the people that have done that work in such a short time,” he said. “We have elevated the program and institutional reputation to a level of new credibility.”

The announcement left him “stunned, hurt and shocked,” said Clark. “Right now the alumni are extremely angry, hurt, confused and don’t know the next direction of where we are going with our athletic program.

However, he added. “At the end of the day, the FAMU National Alumni Association supports our coaches, and our student-athletes. We will continue to support of coaches and student athletes.”

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