Though Spetman managed the Athletic Department well, he failed to rise to the occasion when the lights were brightest
Spetman really made very few public decisions that mattered in his time at Florida State. He inherited a well made hire for the football team transition--a coach in waiting contract when it still meant something. Leonard Hamilton was already grinding away at the attrocity that was Steve Robinson basketball. Even the baseball coach's son has been in the program longer than Spetman. The highly successful track coach was also hired before Spetman.
In hindsight, we may have needed a stronger personality for the turbulent times of the last five years—someone not afraid of the spotlight. The college football world shook and we got left behind for Missouri. Spetman was an administrative Athletic Director when we needed someone to sell Florida State University--the brand. He was lauded for his work in small time college athletics. He made some very good minor women's sports hires and managed a budget far outpaced by regional competitors. During his tenure as athletic director, the funding and construction of the indoor practice facility was nearly completed, though it’s never viewed as an accomplishment of his.
The reason he is viewed as 'in over his head' is because the biggest moment he faced in his career was Bowden's retirement. It was terribly handled, when he needed to step to the forefront of the Athletic Department, he shrunk. From then on, when the spotlight was on, he failed to lead. FSU fans will hopefully not be forever remorseful that behind closed doors, no one can trust what was done with him as our seat at the table in the ACC. There are no fruits of his labor to show on that end. We were outflanked by Missouri and out politicked by UF, UNC, GT, UVA, Rutgers, and Maryland during expansion. We may well have had no options outside of the ACC slightly before his ouster, but when he came in there may still have been more viable optionsand FSU played wait and see in the ACC.
In the end he simply left no legacy.
He was the head of the Florida State University Athletic Department during not only an important and eventful time in Florida State sports history, but in big time college athletics history as well. Unfortunately, it felt like the Florida State Athletics department was being led with its head stuck in the sand.