Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Proctor asks FAMU trustees to pay out Holmes and Johnson’s contracts

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, a graduate of FAMU High School and current political science instructor at FAMU, is asking the FAMU Board of Trustees to pay out the contracts of two recently fired coaches.

Yesterday, Proctor released a letter that urged the trustees to reach a fair financial settlement with former Coaches Earl Holmes and Clemon Johnson, who are FAMU alumni. Former Athletic Director Kellen Winslow terminated both of their contracts in 2014.

Holmes, former head football coach, was hired in 2013 and had a 6-16 record. Johnson, former head men’s basketball coach, was hired in 2011 and had a 32-64 record.

Both men have filed breach of contract lawsuits against the university. Holmes has requested $400,000 for the more than two years that remained on four-year contract prior to his termination. Johnson was set to receive $150,000 for the one year left on his contract before he was fired. They are both represented by Tim Jansen, an attorney based in Tallahassee.

Proctor’s letter stated the following:

November 10, 2015
Mr. Kelvin Lawson, Chairman
Florida A&M University Board of Trustees
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307

Dear Chairman Lawson and BOT Members:

I call upon you as a moral and humanistic request that you expedite a resolution that honors the employment contracts between Florida A&M University and former Coaches Clemon Johnson and Earl Holmes.

Both Earl Holmes and Clemon Johnson graduated from Florida A&M University and FAMU High School. They are revered as two of FAMU’s All-Time greatest players. Clemon Johnson’s jersey hangs in the rafters of the Al Lawson Arena as a tribute to his excellence as a player. Both men are members of FAMU’s Sports Hall of Fame.

For over a year now these two great sons of FAMU have not been paid per the terms of their employment contracts. They were fired unceremoniously and without notice, warning or due process.

The heartless massacre of their coaching careers at the hands of their own Alma Mata is shameful by any moral, legal or community standard. FAMU, it appears, does not respect the dignity of its own athletic sons and alumni by failing to pay these men on terms that FAMU established in the contract it offered Holmes and Johnson to sign.

What does it say about a university that treats its all time greatest sons with such inhumane and callous indifference? It is unclear to me and a few others why the university has treated Earl and CJ with such contempt and disdain. These coaches did not terminate themselves as employees and they did not abandon their roles as coaches.

Has either Earl or CJ committed an egregious error or heinous act that serves as a legal basis to deny paying them? Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us again and FAMU still neglects to perform its legal obligations per its own employment contract with its own Hall of Fame sons.

As the holiday season approaches, I call upon you to interject a metric of compassion, moral decency and the Golden Rule in fulfilling the legal financial responsibilities owed to Clemon Johnson and Earl Holmes as former coaches. Treating these two former premier Rattler players with the respect they deserve would be a start to healing deep wounds the Tallahassee community feels in seeing these sons of FAMU and Tallahassee wrongfully treated before and after being fired.

As Christian men and women, I request that you honor sons of God and brothers in Christ to you all. In the name of Jesus the Christ please treat Earl Holmes and Clemon Johnson with the love and respect that Christian men of God and faith deserve.

Feel free to contact me directly if you are not comfortable reaching out to the Lord God for further input. Just call me at (850) 606-5371.

Thank you very much for making the lives, hearts and spirits of Coach Johnson and Holmes feel brighter for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays of 2015. Their families and members of the Tallahassee Community will feel brighter too.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

William C. Proctor, Jr.
Associate Minister
Bethel A.M.E. Church
Tallahassee, Florida

cc: Clemon Johnson
Earl Holmes
Attorney Avery McKnight
President Elmira Mangum
Board of Governors
Reverend Julius McAllister
Reverend Stanley Walker
Reverend R.B. Holmes
Tommy Mitchell

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