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The Bethune Cookman vs Ed Reed Debacle

Kevyn Bryant II

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A little under a month ago, Bethune Cookman made headlines when they hired Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed to be their head coach.   Ed Reed was a nine-time Pro-Bowler and was selected to the First-Team All Pro 5 times.   He was also selected as part of the NFL’s 100th anniversary team.   He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.

Nearly one month later,  Ed Reed is now out of a job.  The university has refused to officially approve Ed Reed’s contract and will not abide by the deal that was made in principle.

This has all stemmed from a very emotional video made by Ed Reed on Instagram Live in which he brought attention to the subpar conditions at Bethune Cookman.    During his IG live, he pointed out the horrible field conditions on the school’s track and intramural fields.    He also brought attention to some of the university’s abandoned buildings and the trash that those buildings possessed.   He also claimed that the university didn’t clean the office he would be working out of.

It definitely appears that Ed Reed’s job was lost as a result of the increased public scrutiny.   Based on what has transpired, there are arguments to be made on both sides as to whether this was the necessary move.    In this piece, we will weigh the pros and cons of Bethune Cookman’s decision.

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FROM A BETHUNE COOKMAN PERSPECTIVE

There is no doubt that Ed Reed’s heart was in the right place when he made this video.  Given that this was an HBCU, it was obviously hurtful and shocking to him as a black male.    However, there is a right way and wrong way to do things.    Given that he signed an agreement in principle to be an employee at the university, it is not the greatest idea to do a video exposing the weakness and ills of your future employer while in the midst of signing the contract.

A better idea would have been for him to have kept this discussion under wraps as much as possible until the contract was done.    After all, it is clear that Ed Reed had a vision for the football team as well as the university.  Reportedly, Bethune Cookman had talks with over 20+ recruits that were ready to commit to the university.

However, he exposed the horrible conditions of the university before the contract was completed.   In the video, he also stated in frustration that “I should leave right now” and referred to his new employers using expletives.   This is not the wisest thing to do in the midst of negotiations even if it was justifiable.

From a legal and PR standpoint,  I felt it may have put the university in a position where they couldn’t continue to go forward with this potential relationship even if they wanted to.

ED’S SIDE OF THINGS

Overall, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to Bethune Cookman’s decision.   The decision to nix the agreement made in principle with Ed Reed sends a terrible message to Bethune Cookman’s football team as well as the student body.   Ed Reed’s video brought attention to an issue that clearly needed to be addressed.    The university’s decision to part ways with Ed Reed is a clear sign that they prioritize public perception of the university over the maintenance of its facilities.

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This decision has created unrest in the student body.  As a result, the Bethune Cookman student body has planned to stage a protest on behalf of Ed Reed.

In spite of the fact that Ed Reed’s hasty decision to post the video, the fact remains that the university and its football program stood to benefit tremendously from the hiring of Ed Reed.    Bethune-Cookman was on the verge of getting a bunch of prized recruits because of Reed’s hiring.   There is no doubt that Bethune Cookman’s football team would have improved from its woeful 2-9 record that it had last year.

According to former NFL great Edgerrin James, the university also was going to receive a great deal of financial help in order to build new facilities for Bethune Cookman.   Ed Reed had solicited help from Shaquille O’Neal as well as some billionaires in order to provide new facilities for Bethune-Cookman.

The opportunity cost of not making Ed Reed’s contract official is too great for this to be a positive outcome overall.

STUDENTS WANT ED BACK!

A number of Bethune-Cookman football players launched a petition in an effort to reinstate Ed Reed as head coach of the program after Reed revealed on Saturday that the school chose not to ratify his contract. Branden McDonald, a Wildcats running back, posted a photo on Twitter which showed more than 20 players that had signed the petition deeming Reed’s dismissal as “unjust”.

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“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 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.”

Whatever your stance on the situation it appears things may not be over and Bethune trying to sweep things under the rug quickly may have just backfired.

 

 

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Florida HBCU

Ratters Gain Bragging Rights Against BCU in Florida Classic

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Dominque Tarver

In the much-anticipated Week 12 clash between the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the powerhouse Florida A&M Rattlers, the stakes were high as both teams approached the grand finale of their Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season campaign.

This annual showdown between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is not merely confined to the realm of football; it stands as a cherished tradition with significance that transcends the boundaries of the playing field. FAMU has won 10 games since 1999 and BCU needed an answer to the dominate performances but couldn’t find one.

 

The Rattlers, going into the game FAMU was boasting an impressive 9-1 record, including a flawless 7-0 SWAC performance, have ascended to the seventh position in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll. Their momentum continued with a commanding 28-0 victory over Lincoln (CA) last week, marking their eighth consecutive triumph.

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The spotlight of this electrifying showdown not only falls on team accomplishments but also on individual performances that fueled the Rattlers’ dominance. Quarterback Moussa delivered a stellar performance, amassing 150 yards with a 14/21 completion rate, and showcasing precision in execution. However, it was the Rattlers’ elite rushing corps that truly stole the show, with three different players rushing for 30+ yards. Terrel Jennings emerged as the standout, making a lasting impact with 2 touchdowns and an impressive 62 yards on 8 carries.

On the Bethune-Cookman side, quarterback Walter Simmons demonstrated resilience with 79 yards, 1 interception, and a rushing touchdown. Although the rushing core exhibited decent performances, amassing a total of 127 rushing yards, they fell short in securing touchdowns. Jimmie Robinson III led the core with notable contributions.

As the dust settles on this fierce encounter, it becomes evident that Bethune-Cookman faces a strategic challenge in capitalizing on its rushing game to open up more intermediate throwing lanes. The need for refinement in their offensive approach is clear, and the Wildcats will undoubtedly be seeking solutions as they navigate the remainder of the season.

With the Rattlers reveling in their triumph, this dynamic matchup sets the stage for further excitement as both teams chart their course toward postseason glory. Stay tuned for more gridiron drama and the unfolding narrative of SWAC supremacy.”

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Bethune-Cookman Roars to Victory with a Dominant Ground Game, Defeating Alabama A&M 31-14

Kevyn Bryant II

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© sportsclubflorida.com | Kevyn Bryant II

In a resounding display of ground dominance, Bethune-Cookman delivered a season-best performance, rushing for an impressive 412 yards and securing a convincing 31-14 victory over Alabama A&M at Daytona Stadium in a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) football clash. The game, dedicated to “Senior Appreciation Day,” paid tribute to 22 seniors from various facets of the Wildcats’ community.

Ground Attack Reigns Supreme

Bethune-Cookman’s ground assault was led by Walter Simmons III, who garnered a game-high 165 yards. The Wildcats boasted three players with over 100 rushing yards, showcasing the depth of their formidable running game.

A Fourth-Quarter Surge

Despite trailing 14-7 at halftime, Bethune-Cookman staged a remarkable comeback, outscoring the Bulldogs 21-0 in a dominant fourth quarter. The turning point came when Mar’Kai Shaw, fueled by a 52-yard sprint, secured a crucial touchdown, giving the Maroon and Gold a 17-14 lead.

Simmons’ Dual Threat

Walter Simmons III, stepping in after an injury to starting quarterback Tylik Bethea, showcased his dual-threat capabilities. Simmons not only orchestrated a 47-yard touchdown run but also added a 22-yard rush, contributing to the Wildcats’ fourth-quarter surge.

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Defensive Brilliance

The Wildcats’ defense intensified in the second half, with Omari Hill-Robinson intercepting a Quincy Casey pass and setting the stage for Simmons’ second score. The defensive effort, featuring key plays from Dearis Thomas, Joshua Thornhill, and others, proved instrumental in stifling Alabama A&M.

Looking Ahead

Bethune-Cookman concludes the 2023 season on a high note, finishing 3-1 at home. The Wildcats now set their sights on the Florida Blue Florida Classic in Orlando, Florida, facing in-state rival Florida A&M on November 18th at Camping World Stadium. With a potent ground game and resilient defense, Bethune-Cookman aims to cap the season with another triumph in this highly anticipated matchup.

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Florida HBCU

Florida A&M Dominates Lincoln (Ca.) with a Resounding 28-0 Victory

Kevyn Bryant II

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copyright FAMU Athletics

In a commanding defensive showcase, Florida A&M extended their home winning streak to an impressive 19 games by overpowering Lincoln (Ca.) with a decisive 28-0 triumph. The Rattlers showcased their prowess on both ends of the field, improving their season record to an impressive 9-1, while Lincoln (Ca.) struggled, falling to 0-11.

Defensive Brilliance Takes Center Stage

Florida A&M’s defensive unit orchestrated a masterclass, holding the Oaklanders to a mere 171 total yards. The Rattlers asserted their dominance by restricting both the passing and rushing game, allowing only 139 yards through the air and a mere 32 on the ground. Defensive standouts, led by Deco Wilson with five tackles, one interception, and a defensive touchdown, ensured that the Oaklanders found little room to maneuver. James Ash contributed with an interception, and Johnny Chaney Jr. added four tackles, 1.0 TFL, and a crucial sack.

Ground Game Dominance

Terrell Jennings led the Rattlers’ ground assault, amassing 53 yards with an impressive 6.6 yards per carry, while Kevin Sawyer Jr. contributed 37 yards with a remarkable 9.2 yards per carry. Nicholas Dixon chipped in with two catches for 25 yards, adding versatility to Florida A&M’s offensive display.

Game-Changing Moments

Florida A&M seized control early, scoring with just 16 seconds left in the first quarter to establish a 7-0 lead. A relentless offensive effort and a stellar defensive showcase allowed the Rattlers to extend their lead to 21-0. The dominance continued, with another touchdown at 1:02 left in the third quarter, solidifying the 28-0 victory.

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Statistical Highlights

Florida A&M outpaced Lincoln (Ca.) with 236 total yards compared to 171, including a commanding 141-32 advantage in rushing yards. The Rattlers won the turnover battle, securing two interceptions while surrendering the ball only once. Notably, they showcased a flawless red-zone defense, allowing zero points in two trips.

In a game marked by defensive prowess, offensive efficiency, and strategic dominance, Florida A&M’s resounding victory underscored their status as a force to be reckoned with in collegiate football. With an unyielding home winning streak and a standout defensive performance, the Rattlers are poised for continued success on the gridiron.**

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