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Tiffani-Dawn Sykes formally introduced as Florida A&M's new athletic director

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 18:34:08-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Wednesday morning, Florida A&M formally introduced Tiffani-Dawn Sykes, the University's new Vice President and Director of Athletics. She has experience in HBCU athletics and her background is in compliance, which is an area FAMU has struggled in. Sykes' experience and her appreciation for what FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson called a "culture of compliance" is what set her apart from other candidates, and now, it's about making sure these continued issues don't happen again.

"There are some opportunities for growth in respect to the compliance area of FAMU athletics," she said via Zoom on Wednesday.

For Sykes, she knows what FAMU's faced over the past two months, and she heard it straight from the mouths of student athletes Wednesday.

"How are you going to make sure that all athletics receive the same resources?" One athlete asked.

"What measures are you going to take to make sure as many athletes as possible are up to compliance when it comes to academics?" Another followed up.

Sykes says she is not speculating on anything though until she arrives on campus.

"It's going to be very important that everyone I have an opportunity to meet with is as transparent as possible, because unless I have the information, I can't address those concerns."

"I'm really excited that she has that experience," said Robinson. "It went a long way in helping me make my decision in asking her to serve in this role."

A role that Sykes plans to use her two decades in athletics to help the Rattlers overcome their shortfalls.

"I've been able to cultivate many strong relationships with people in the NCAA office, particularly in the eligibility center and within academic and membership affairs," she said. "I plan on capitalizing on those relationships and bring education to our constituents and student athletes on campus to protect us from further challenges."

That's something that everyone wants.

"I never wanted to be just any AD. I wanted to be the AD at FAMU."

"Having an appreciation and an understanding of the place you're going to work, and that being being the place you want to work and it being a career aspiration? That puts you in the front of the line for me," said Robinson.

Sykes' first official day of work is set for January 4th.