Former NFL star and Miami legend Ed Reed is out as coach at Bethune-Cookman, just 25 days after he was hired to lead the football program at the historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida. Reid announced the news in a twitter post from his foundation on Saturday, which described how a rift had developed between him and the Bethune-Cookman administration.
“Bethune-Cookman University is working with my legal team to craft contract terms with the language and resources we knew were necessary to build a successful football program,” read the statement. “It is my desire to not only be a football coach, but to be an agent of change that most people talk about. However, after weeks of negotiations I have been informed that the university will not ratify my contract and Neither will.” Good job on the agreement we had in principle that had the necessary provisions and resources to support student athletes.
“I was committed to coaching and building relationships with the university, players, community and fans,” he continued. “It is extremely disappointing that this will not happen.”
Earlier in the week, reid apologized For the content of a vulgar rant about the resources of the Bethune-Cookman program that surfaced on social media. In his apology, he said that “his language and tone was unacceptable as a father, coach and leader.”
Ultimately, it appears that the relationship between Reed and Bethune-Cookman could not be repaired. Reed, 44, was hired 27 after working in off-field roles on Miami’s staff for the past three seasons. Reed replaced Terry Sims, who was fired in November after seven seasons, and his arrival was the latest blip of superstardom for HBCU football following Deion Sanders’ tenure at Jackson State.
The breakdown between Reed and Bethune-Cookman only underscores the seismic difference between HBCU football programs and FBS programs in terms of investment, facilities and overall resources. The Miami program where Reid played and worked unveiled plans in December for a 162,000-square-foot football operations center that would cost more than $100 million.
The cost of that facility alone is several times that of Bethune-Cookman’s annual athletic department budget, which is approximately $15 million. The football program has also been cut in recent years. Reporting from HBCU Gameday,
“Although we could not make things work at BCU, the goals and mission are still the same,” read the statement from Reed’s foundation. “We serve to lead – lead to serve. We will continue with our pillars [of] Respected, Educated, Empowered, Dreamed. Through our health and wellness programs, camps and fundraising through our Foundation, our efforts will remain about the children. We will never stop changing lives for the better, as we have done for over 20 years!”