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Shamoria Johnson Capri Howard FAMU bowling team coach student

Source: Klaus Vedfelt / Getty

Shamoria Johnson claims she was kicked off Florida A&M University’s bowling team by head coach Capri Howard because she prioritized her studies over the sport. 

Johnson first publicized her story earlier this month on social media. In a Jan. 19 Instagram post, she explained that she and “nearly the entire starting team” had their sports scholarships revoked. The sophomore English major noted that the other student-bowlers were penalized because they left a team practice in solidarity with her.

Johnson added that in the event’s aftermath, FAMU’s bowling team has onboarded a whole new roster. 


Johnson shared her story with Roland Martin during the Jan. 20 episode of the journalist’s daily show. The student explained that things escalated with Howard after Thanksgiving Break. She added that it was “Dead Week,” aka the period before FAMU’s final week of classes.

Johnson said she messaged Howard Nov. 29 saying she couldn’t attend a Dec. 4 practice because she had to work on her final papers. The student claimed Howard didn’t reply to her notice although the coach allegedly said, “No problem” and “Good luck” to teammates who sent similar updates.

“Instead, she sent us [the team] 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,” Johnson recalled.

Howard’s email made Johnson “anxious,” but the student responded to her coach’s email. The young athlete noted that she would “prioritize” her academics.

“I also referenced one of the rules from the women’s bowling team — where it stated that being a student is the priority,” Johnson claimed. “That was the only bolded rule on the rule sheet. And I didn’t get a response to that email either. Instead, I was just dismissed from the team [on Dec. 1].”  

 The student-athlete said in previous years, FAMU’s bowling team coaches gave players time off to focus on preparing for their finals. Johnson also outlined that FAMU’s bowling team didn’t have a tournament scheduled on the off day she took to do schoolwork. 


Howard was named the head coach of FAMU’s bowling team in August 2023. Johnson claimed adjusting to the new leadership “hasn’t been the easiest.”

When she was kicked off the bowling squad Dec. 1, Howard allegedly dismissed Johnson during a meeting attended by Breon Hagans, the senior associate athletic director for external relations at FAMU. 

The student claimed Howard called her disrespectful and said her “energy” was “a cancer to the team.” 

“So my teammates walk out with me, and as we’re walking out, Mr. Hagans calls behind us and he says, ‘Well, you know that if you walk out of that door, then you won’t get your scholarship back. We can take your scholarship away.’ And everybody just kept walking because we didn’t think that that was something that they could do,” recalled Johnson.

The sophomore specified that her scholarship would expire after the 2023-2024 school year. Johnson claims that since Howard’s extreme measures and scholarships getting revoked, a few former teammates have allegedly left FAMU. 



Johnson is a celebrated bowler and previous tournament MVP. She was recognized in November as the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s “Bowler of the Week.”


FAMU Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics, Tiffani-Dawn Sykes, addressed the bowling team’s circumstances in a Jan. 20 statement.

Sykes stood by Howard’s choices and claimed all former members of the bowling team “have been awarded their athletics aid for the remainders of the academic year.”

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