FAMU grad and Fox Sports broadcaster Pam Oliver says her experience at an HBCU was a memorable one. Although she might not be there if she’d listened to her father who warned her that the school was a “party school.”
“I got there and it was some very nice parties,” she says. “I went to some of them. But it was also very serious academics and being in the athletic department that was kind of another job with another set of eyes of people that nurtured you and took care of you and watched out for you and admonished you when necessary. It was all of that.”
Among her many accomplishments, Oliver ran track for the school and made it into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame.
“I didn’t like to run even when I ran track,” she laughs. “That’s the one thing I was fairly capable of doing and at some point, it started to pay for my education.”
Oliver was a news reporter at first but got into sports when she asked a controversial question at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers press conference in Florida. That one question changed her life, she says, because it moved her from news into sports where she’s been ever since.
But after over two decades as a NFL sideline reporter for Fox Sports and 30 years as a sports broadcaster, Oliver, was publicly demoted earlier this year and replaced on the sidelines by Fox reporter Erin Andrews. Despite her disappointment, Oliver remained with Fox and has settled into her new gig doing special reports for the network. Although her face (and her hair) will be missed by football fans, Oliver has settled into her new role.
“The journey is fantastic. It’s life. I was talking about how cold it is here and as I went to adjust the thermostat, for some reason, I thought what if someone’s taking the bus to work today to go to work,” she says. “My life is just like everybody else’s. It’s not perfect. I’m fortunate but I’m not done yet. There’s a whole lot more to give and there are many other levels and layers to me. Once you pick yourself up if you think you’ve run into a brick wall, you just keep on keeping on and go on to the next. Once I turn a corner on something I turn a corner and I don’t look back.”
Listen to the entire interview to see that Oliver has to say about controversial Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and more.