Shamoria Johnson: Celebrated Bowler And Former Tournament MVP Kicked Off FAMU’s Bowling Team For Prioritizing Her Academics

by Gee NY
Shamoria Johnson. Image credit: @sjbowlerr on IG.

Shamoria Johnson, a standout bowler and English major at Florida A&M University (FAMU), has accused head coach Capri Howard of unfairly kicking her off the university’s bowling team.

Johnson claims the coach took the decision to remove her from the team because she chose to prioritize her academics over sports.

Johnson brought attention to her ordeal earlier this month via a post on IG, revealing that not only her but also the majority of the starting team had their sports scholarships revoked.

In a detailed Instagram post on Jan. 19, Johnson disclosed that her issues with Coach Howard escalated after Thanksgiving Break during “Dead Week,” the period leading up to FAMU’s final week of classes.

Johnson explained that she informed Howard that she couldn’t attend a Dec. 4 practice due to academic commitments, a message she claimed was met with silence.

Teammates who sent similar updates received a response of “No problem” and “Good luck,” according to Johnson.

However, Johnson highlighted that Howard later sent an email stating that managing time better was essential and that having homework or studying was not an excuse to miss practice.

Johnson, who referenced the team’s rule prioritizing academics, claimed she received no response to her email affirming her commitment to her studies. Subsequently, she was dismissed from the team on Dec. 1.

Johnson asserted that in previous years, FAMU’s bowling team coaches allowed players time off to prepare for finals and emphasized that no tournaments were scheduled on the day she took off for schoolwork.

Capri Howard took over as head coach in August 2023.

During the dismissal meeting, Johnson claimed Howard accused her of being disrespectful and labeled her energy as “a cancer to the team.”

As Johnson and some teammates walked out, FAMU’s senior associate athletic director for external relations, Breon Hagans, allegedly warned that leaving the team meant forfeiting their scholarships, an assertion Johnson and her teammates initially dismissed.

Since Johnson’s dismissal and the subsequent revocation of scholarships, she claims that some former teammates have left FAMU.

Johnson, recognized as the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s “Bowler of the Week” in November, stated that her scholarship would expire after the 2023-2024 school year.

In response to the situation, FAMU Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Tiffani-Dawn Sykes supported Coach Howard’s decisions, stating that all former members of the bowling team had been awarded their athletics aid for the remainder of the academic year.

Johnson’s dismissal raises questions about the intersection of academics and athletics and the treatment of student-athletes prioritizing their education.

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