The fallout from administrators at Bethune-Cookman University choosing not to ratify the contract of College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed for the head coaching position of its football program has resulted in petitions and, in the case of a group of students, an on-campus protest.
Students gathered on campus grounds on Monday (January 23) to demand the removal of the Board of Trustees over the inadequacy of several buildings on campus containing mold and the failed hire of Reed. According to Fox 35, students complained of rats in some dormitories and no hot water. Students have resorted to leaving windows up year-round in some spaces because there is no working air conditioner.
Reed revealed on Saturday (January 21) he would not be appointed head coach at Bethune, more than 25 days after he was named to the position. In a statement, the school stated why they and Reed couldn’t agree on his contract.
“After undergoing a detailed assessment and review of the state of our football program, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our university, athletics program, and football student-athletes to reopen the search and identify the next leader of Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Football,” the statement reads.”
“While we appreciate the initial interest in our football program displayed by Mr. Reed during the course of recent weeks, we are also mindful of the qualities and attributes that must be exhibited by our institutional personnel during what have been uniquely challenging times for our campus as we recover from the impact of two hurricanes during this past fall semester.”
The 25-Day Saga
The decision on Reed’s future came after a series of expletive-filled videos decrying the conditions at Bethune-Cookman, including his office not being clean.
The period of Reed being named in principle as Bethune’s head coach came with online fanfare and an announcement from the school but no proper introductory news conference. In a January 15 Instagram Live video, Reed agreed with former Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders about HBCUs and their numerous issues.
“Prime [Sanders] was not wrong about what he was saying,” Reed said. “All HBCUs need help because of the people who’s running it. Broken mentalities out here.”
In another Instagram post, Reed captioned it by saying the university was forcing him out and he wasn’t withdrawing his name to coach the players.
“I am NOT withdrawing my name as the Head Coach at Bethune Cookman,” he wrote. “The administration and the AD are forcing me out. Thank you to all that supported me and my staff through this process. Good day and God bless.”
Students in the on-campus protest are hoping their demands for better conditions to be met. Last October, the school was closed due to damage from Hurricane Ian and is said to be still reeling from the storm’s effects.
Bethune-Cookman Students Call For Board Of Trustees’ Ouster Following Ed Reed Decision was originally published on blackamericaweb.com