Florida State University President Eric Barron announced on Wednesday that Athletic Director Randy Spetman will be stepping down from his post, effective immediately. Spetman will stick around with the school through February of 2014, when his contract is due to expire, as a senior adviser to the athletic department. For the time-being, senior associate Athletic Director Vanessa Fuchs will step in on an interim basis.
When Spetman took over the responsibilities in 2008, the Florida State athletic department wasn’t in the best of shapes. The school was suffering through an NCAA probationary period, stemming from an academic cheating scandal. Also, and more notably, Spetman came in during an unthinkable time period for the FSU football program.
Right around ’08, voices were starting to be heard regarding the job security of long-time football coach, Bobby Bowden. Bowden, who would eventually become the all-time winningest coach in FBS history by default following the Penn State scandal, was being seen by many as maybe having overstayed his welcome in Tallahassee. The football team hadn’t been performing up to traditional standards, and some wanted a change.
Following the 2009 season, Spetman was right in the middle of the controversial ousting of Bowden, ushering in the current Jimbo Fisher era at Florida State.
All things considered, especially taking into account the Bowden situation, Spetman was not exactly viewed as what some would consider “popular.”
For the majority of the last two off-seasons, Florida State University has been at the center of conference realignment rumors. Spetman’s somewhat unprofessional handling of these rumors further downgraded his popularity. The majority of the criticism was that many felt Spetman wasn’t cut out for the job.
Last year, the AD received just a one-year extension on his contract, probably a clear sign that confidence in him wasn’t exactly present within the administration.
Florida State is scheduled to conduct a nationwide search for his replacement soon, so–LET THE RUMORS BEGIN!