Former Star Athlete Sammie Smith Honored With Florida State University Track & Field Building Locker Dedication, John Crossman Raises $10,000

Sammie Smith
(Left to right) Arthur Blake, Dexter Carter, Sammie Smith and Deion Sanders running track at Florida State. Photo courtesy of Florida State University Sports Information.

TALLAHASSEE – John Crossman, CEO of Crossman Career Builders donated and raised $10,000 to have a locker at the Florida State University McIntosh Track & Field Building named after Sammie Smith. The funds are earmarked for support and promotion of the Seminoles’ track and field program.

“In these times of prejudice and unrest, I am so pleased to honor someone who has done so much for others,” Crossman said.  “It took less than a year to raise that money because people believe in Sammie, in his character and in redemption.”

Smith was one of the greatest athletes in FSU history, a football and track star. He played running back for the Dolphins and Broncos, but after his career in the NFL ended he got mixed up with the wrong people, was arrested on drug charges and sent to prison. He reformed his life, got his rights restored, and now is a chaplain with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Ole Miss Football team.  

After hitting rock bottom in his life, he emerged realizing it’s never too late to do the right thing. He used that low point as a platform to give back to the community in many ways but mostly by counseling athletes, students and anyone in crisis, Crossman explained.    

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Sammie Smith (left) getting the handoff from Deion Sanders in a 1988 Seminoles photo. Photo courtesy of Florida State University Sports Information.

Sammie graduated from FSU right before Crossman started as a freshman.

“I became a huge fan who followed his career.  When I had the privilege of meeting him 10 years ago at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event, I knew that Sammie embodies the characteristics that I’ve always admired and advocated.”

Just one prime example of those characteristics is when a 2016 Alabama  plane crash killed three Mississippi couples each leaving 3 to 5 children, Smith made it his priority to get to the children to offer his comfort and support.

Son of the late preacher and civil rights advocate Rev. Kenneth Crossman, John Crossman and his team at Crossman Career Builders have a sense of duty to bring to light role models like Smith for the benefit of young athletes, college students, young professionals and anyone struggling or at a negative crossroads in life.

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