FSU's Randy Spetman stepping down

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman is stepping down from the role, effective immediately, according to a statement released Wednesday by school president Eric Barron.

Senior associate athletic director Vanessa Fuchs will take over as Florida State's AD on an interim basis, according to the statement, and the school will begin a search for a permanent replacement immediately.

Spetman will stay on in an advisory role through the term of his current contract, which expires in February 2014.

"I'm pleased, therefore, through mutual agreement, Randy will continue to advance the Athletics Department's Strategic Plan by working with a full range of stakeholders to gather additional information that will help shape the future of Florida State athletics," Barron said in the statement.

The move comes just one day before Spetman was scheduled to present his five-year strategic plan for the athletic department at a meeting with the board of trustees, but his fate may have been long since sealed. With his contract set to expire earlier this year, he was given just a one-year extension without a raise, a sign Barron may have been looking for alternatives.

Spetman came to FSU in 2008 under former president T.K. Wetherell, and while the athletic program largely has found success during his tenure, with Florida State finishing in the top 10 in the Directors Cup standings in each of the past three years, he also dealt with a litany of controversy, including the ousting of longtime football coach Bobby Bowden, increasing budgetary concerns and nearly two full years of rumors of a potential change in conference affiliation.

This spring, Spetman pointed to the new strategic plan, which included plans for facility upgrades, more competitive football scheduling and strategies to increase marketing revenue, as a potential saving grace.

"We've spent the last year putting that together … to show where we're going to go and give [Barron] some items I can be evaluated on," Spetman said earlier this spring. "If he's happy with that and where we're going, then we'll talk about how long I'll get to stay."

On Thursday, Barron said he would look to hire an athletic director who would "take the program to the next level" and generate new streams of revenue.

"You can't find a program in this country that is not looking at the revenue side of the issue and how it is that you're competing," Barron said. "There's a national trend of having very business-oriented people as well as truly athletic-oriented people, so we're going to look for someone who is dynamic and looking down that road and at the top of their game."