“Our Current Administration Does Not Care About Us” | Bethune-Cookman Students and Players Protest, Demand Change, Say “Ed Reed Was Right”

Bethune Cookman students are protesting the firing of Ed Reed as head football coach.
(Screenshot/change.org)

The students have come together in support of Ed Reed after contract negotiations between him and Bethune-Cookman University failed. He was informed of the news by athletics director and head basketball coach Reggie Theus on this past Friday.

Reed held a team meeting that same evening with his players to personally inform them of the university’s decision. He took to his Instagram Live to give the heartfelt message. Former head coach Deion Sanders joined in on the live and told Reed, “Sometimes in life you have to walk away. I know how you feel about those kids and I know you do not want to leave those kids.”

The news circulated on various social media platforms over the weekend, which prompted the support from football players and the student body. The students proceeded with a protest held on campus today that demanded the removal of Bethune’s Board of Trustees that currently has 14 members, led by Belvin Perry Jr.

The Protest

Reed was hired on Dec. 27 but never officially signed a contract. Despite not having a contract, he showed up to work on Jan. 3 and worked every day until he was let go. He took to Instagram live on last week to display his frustrations with the university.

He stated that his office was full of trash, the campus wasn’t cleaned, buildings were in bad condition, and his football team didn’t even have a practice field. He issued a call for change at the top and called the university out for their lack of care for the students. Reed later apologized, but that wasn’t enough to keep his job.

After he was relieved of his duties, players took to social media to show support for who they thought was going to be their next head coach. They started a petition and a GoFundMe account to hopefully persuade the university to rethink their decision.

Then the students felt further action was needed.

Fox 35 News in Orlando reports it heard from more than half of dozen students who said Reed losing his contract isn’t the point of the protest, but it is the last straw.

The students complained of rats in the dorms, mold in the dorms, and lack of hot water. All things Reed pointed out his Instagram Live rant on last week.

They sent out a message on their campus emails to all students that a protest would take place Monday on campus at noon and asked for as much participation as possible.

Reed’s Impact

The Bethune football players took the biggest loss in this whole debacle. They are still without a head coach and the things Reed was starting to work on will probably be left unfinished until further notice.

Reed cleaned the campus daily and had Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James  on campus to help discuss plans of upgrading the football facilities. Players stated that Reed begin to clear out land to start the construction and it was rumored that he was paying for it himself.

The support for Reed was overwhelming on social media. Outside of Sanders, former football players and celebrities like Lawrence ‘LT’ Taylor, Robert Griffin III, Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, and plenty more took to Twitter to show their support.

The 2 Live Crew frontman Campbell started a Twitter space titled “We Support Ed Reed,” where he invited anyone to come on to voice their thoughts.

Taylor tweeted, “Ed Reed is a dear friend, a ferocious competitor, a man of integrity, a relentless worker, and much more. He genuinely cares and loves the game of football. I’m disappointed to hear this news and know that he will thrive in the next chapter. All love my brother.”

Players also showed support for their former head coach of three weeks. Running back Jaiden Bivens released a statement on his social media that mentioned of how he and Reed would talk every morning about things outside of football.