Top FAMU Bowler Reportedly Kicked Off Team For Studying

Shamoria Johnson says she was removed from the team for prioritizing academic requirements.

FAMU Bowler x Shamoria Johnson
Shamoria Johnson x former FAMU Bowler via Clutch Points

Not only is Florida A&M‘s football program under current scrutiny, but now the FAMU Rattlers bowling program is getting national media attention.

Last Wednesday, former Rattlers bowler Shamoria Johnson posted an Instagram reel announcing her and teammates departing the team midway through the season on Dec. 1, due to differences with first-year head coach Capri Howard.

The Instagram post has attracted over 200,000 viewers.

The departures came two weeks after FAMU participated at Alabama State’s Hornet Invitational from Nov. 17 to Nov. 19, where Johnson garnered Southwestern Athletic Conference Bowler of the Week honors for her performance.

Afterwards, FAMU students went on Thanksgiving break. Typically, the Rattlers do not practice after Thanksgiving break, given that all bowling matches are paused until January.

Shamoria Johnson told Roland Martin she was kicked off the bowling team by Coach Howard. Johnson said she alerted Howard on November 29th that she would be unable to practice on Dec. 4th to prioritize studying.

Johnson says other teammates alerted Howard they would be unable to attend as well. Howard reportedly assured there would to be no problem accommodating their requests. 

“I got no response back,” Johnson told Martin. “I didn’t get a text message back and instead she sent us an email where she was stating that we needed to manage our time better. And being a student athlete, we should be able to balance our school work and our academic work. So having homework or studying is not an excuse to miss practice.”

Florida A&M Rattlers Bowling Team | FAMU Athletics

Johnson says she responded with an email, reiterating she would need to take care of her academic requirements in lieu of practice.

“I ended the email saying that I would prioritize my academics as a student athlete,” Johnson said. “And I also referenced one of the rules from the women’s bowling team, rules where it stated that being a student is the priority. That was the only bolded rule on the rule sheet, and I didn’t get a response to that email either.”

Instead, Johnson said she was dismissed from the team by Howard, with assistant AD Breon Hagans in attendance. 

“Capri said I have been disrespectful all season and that my last email was entirely disrespectful, that she no longer wishes to work with me because my energy is a cancer to the team,” Johnson said.

Johnson says several of her teammates walked out with her after she was dismissed.

According to Johnson, her teammates that walked out had their scholarships revoked. The current FAMU roster shows six bowlers. VP of Intercollegiate Athletics, Tiffani-Dawn B. Sykes released a statement via Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

“In December 2023, Coach Howard dismissed a student-athlete from the bowling team for reasons supported by NCAA Bylaws,” VP Sykes said. “Though it’s always challenging to see our student-athletes dismissed, I support the decision by Coach Howard as the proper procedures were taken before the dismissal.”

According to the College Athletes Bill of Rights, introduced into Congress by Cory Booker in 2022, the bill “protects a student from retaliation or punishment for prioritizing academic course work” and should “set penalties for any such institution that violates specified protections for athletes.”

Johnson told Roland Martin she is still enrolled as a student at FAMU and while she wishes to continue bowling, she understands that Coach Howard no longer wants to work with her.