According to NFL Hall-of-Famer, Ed Reed, and authorities at Bethune-Cookman University, the planned union between the two parties did not even make it to the honeymoon stage.
Reed won’t be following in the footsteps of fellow Hall-of-Famer, Deion Sanders, in leading an HBCU back to glory. The HBCU released a statement over the weekend stating that Reed will not be leading their football team and the search for someone else has been renewed.
“Bethune-Cookman University has announced that it has decided not to proceed with contract negotiations with Ed Reed to become the next head football coach at B-CU [Bethune-Cookman].”
“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.”
“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.”
B-CU Official Statement: Football Program pic.twitter.com/m50D2qWNvw
— Bethune-Cookman (@bethunecookman) January 21, 2023
Reed also released a statement and video via social media clarifying that the school made the decision not to “ratify” the contract offered to him last year.
“Bethune-Cookman University has been working with my legal team to craft contract terms with the language and resources we knew were needed to build a successful football program. It’s my desire to not only coach football, but to be an agent of change that most people just talk about being. However, after weeks of negotiations I’ve been informed that the University won’t be ratifying my contract and won’t make good on the agreement we had in principle, which had provisions and resources best needed to support the student athletes.”
“I was committed to coaching and cultivating a relationship with the University, Players, Community and the Fans. It’s extremely disappointing this won’t be happening.”
With great sadness… pic.twitter.com/bhcusZIsW9
— Ed Reed (@TwentyER) January 21, 2023
He posted a passionate video on his Instagram account expressing his desire to coach the team, but also stating that the decision-makers don’t want him there.
“I am NOT withdrawing my name as the Head Coach at Bethune Cookman. 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.”
View this post on Instagram
It’s apparent that through his short time at the school, Reed reached the players on the football team. Sports Illustrate reported that they started a petition to bring their almost-head coach back to the fold.
“We firmly believe that the abrupt dismissal of our newly hired head coach Ed Reed is unjust not only to the student-athletes but to the entire BCU [Bethune-Cookman University] family, community and doesn’t align with our founders legacy,” the players said in a statement on the petition. “We would like to respectfully and firmly request his immediate reinstatement. We were witnessed to tremendous growth and a new direction in a short period of time.”
There is no mention of how many players are on the team, but a substantial number, if not the entire team, signed the petition.
— Branden McDonald (@Branden5mc) January 22, 2023
Sanders showed his support for Ed Reed and acknowledged him via video.
This type of support from Deion Sanders for Ed Reed in a one of Ed’s toughest moments is MONUMENTAL. pic.twitter.com/nQSWBfGkgR
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 21, 2023