SBD/June 6, 2013/Colleges

Spetman Out As FSU AD, Reassigned To Senior Advisory Role Within Department

Spetman was criticized during his time at FSU for not being a dynamic leader
Florida State Univ. AD Randy Spetman yesterday was "removed" from the role and "reassigned to a senior advisory position in the athletic department," with Senior Associate AD and Senior Woman Administrator Vanessa Fuchs taking over the job on an interim basis, according to a front-page piece by Blackburn & Schoffel of the TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT. FSU President Eric Barron said that he is "beginning a national search" for a new AD. Spetman had been "scheduled to present a five-year strategic plan for FSU athletics at today’s Board of Trustees workshop." But Barron said that the item has been "removed from the agenda." FSU's teams have "enjoyed impressive success during Spetman’s tenure." But Spetman also received criticism "for not being a dynamic leader" (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 6/6). In Orlando, Coley Harvey cites a source as saying that Barron "spoke with Spetman earlier this week and called members of the board of trustees to inform them of his decision Tuesday night." Spetman in recent years "drew the ire of FSU fans who [were] overwhelmingly impatient with the school's standing in the ACC." Spetman last spring "continued to tell reporters FSU was 'committed' to the ACC" as "rumors circulated about FSU's possible flirtations with the Big 12." Aside from those "declarations, he was mostly silent on the issue, letting other school leaders speak more vocally about it" (, 6/5).

FINDING A FIT: In Tallahassee, Ira Schoffel writes, "If ever a move was begging to be made, this one was it." Spetman by all accounts "is a good man," and he "didn't bring embarrassment to the university." But the bar "should be set much higher than that when we’re talking about leading one of the nation’s elite athletic programs." While Spetman "might have been a good fit" for former FSU President T.K.Wetherell in '08, that "doesn’t mean he makes sense for the Seminoles now or in the future." Spetman during his five-year tenure "didn’t necessarily hurt anything, but it would be difficult to point to any major accomplishments either" (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 6/6). Also in Tallahassee, Jim Henry writes reaction to the verdict was "unanimous: Florida State’s new athletic director must discover creative ways to diversify the department’s revenue stream." While Spetman's "integrity and performance were applauded, the prevailing opinion was that FSU needed a new, dynamic voice to lead and shape the future" (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 6/6).'s Andrea Adelson wrote under the header, "Florida State Needs A Strong Leader." Spetman was "simply not the picture of a modern AD," but that is "through no fault of his own." Spetman was "brought in by another president, during a time of NCAA issues, and was never really seen as a strong leader." From the moment he "arrived, there seemed to be a general disconnect with the fan base." Spetman was "never Barron’s guy," and when the president and AD "do not see eye to eye on many issues, well, you have problems" (, 6/5).
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