New FAMU men’s basketball coach Patrick Crarey II incites stakeholders by dismissing nearly the entire team

It seems that another Florida A&M coaching hire is mired in controversy.

After a 2023-24 season that saw the Rattler men’s basketball team stumble to a 6-23 overall record and just 4-14 in SWAC play, FAMU and then coach Robert McCullum decided a mutual parting of the ways was in the best interest of all concerned parties and so began the search for the next person to lead FAMU men’s hoops.

Patrick Crarey II was announced as the program’s 15th basketball coach on April 17 in a move that was seen as a good hire.

However, in attempting to place his stamp on the program, as he seeks to improve the lot of FAMU basketball, has already ruffled feathers. According to Rattler Nation, Crarey II has caused outrage by dismissing the entire inherited roster.

As of the writing of this article, a glance at the FAMU’s basketball roster page on the university’s athletics website has just six players listed.

Reverend Julius H. McAllister, who is the senior pastor of Bethel AME church Tallahassee, but more importantly the father of one of the booted players, guard Colin McAllister, penned a 2,585-word letter to FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson in which he outlined his concerns with the recent direction of the men’s basketball program.

Reverend McCallister, in part stated in the letter, “Specifically, I wish to speak to the decision made by the new Men’s Basketball Coach, Patrick Crarey, to abruptly dismiss the entire basketball team void of sound judgment, insight, and blatantly antithetical to the institution’s acclaimed motto, “Excellence with Caring.” Coach Crarey’s decision, and especially the callous method that he chose to convey it to the 16 members of the basketball team have provoked a high level of internal frustration and indignation.”

In the letter, Rev. McCallister also adds that he had arranged a meeting with himself, his wife, and Coach Crarey, but insisted they meet without her presence and that June 3 meeting the coach was,” rude and disrespectful, and he made it clear that his meeting with me was a distraction and a waste of his time since he was not receiving compensation from the institution”

The letter, which was broken into segments titled, “The Promise”, “The Decision to Dismiss”, “My Direct Responses to Coach Crarey’s unwarranted decision to abruptly dismiss the university’s entire Men’s Basketball Team without Cause, and Coach Crarey’s reply to my concerns.”, “Questions and Concerns” and “What I hope will come from this experience”, Rev. McAllister stated FAMU Director of Athletics, Tiffani Dawn-Sykes, promised the players would be allowed to retain their spots through “competition” which never happened. He calls for a painstaking analysis of the actions of both Coach Carey and AD Sykes, and if to be found their actions were taken without proper justification, for their removal.

The Florida A&M Board of has a meeting set for Monday, June 24 in which the approval of Crarey’s three-year deal will be considered.

This is a developing story and will be updated as information avails itself.

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