The decision to not continue with Reed as the struggling program’s head football coach could have even bigger ramifications than believed. Per Edgerrin James, a former teammate and good friend of Reed’s during their playing days at Miami, Reed had some heavy hitters lined up to help the program monetarily.
Ed Reed Had Investors Ready For Bethune-Cookman
After Reed’s announcement that he and the HBCU were not moving forward with their original agreement, James took to Instagram to say this.
“Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemy,” he wrote. “I Hate for those kids not getting chance to witness ‘What makes the great, GREAT’…. Your Vision and the outside support was about to have a greater impact than most realized …. But (shout out to @shaq and those other Billionaires you had ready to invest in your vision and build new facilities at Cookman.”
That’s a huge development that few knew was in the works when Bethune-Cookman opted to not move forward with Reed.
Hall of Famer Edgerrin James Reveals that Ed Reed had ‘Billionaires’ Set To Invest In Bethune-Cookman Football and build new facilities
** Shannon Dawson** NEWSONE pic.twitter.com/GmA6RMLfRV
— HBCU Premier Sports (@HBCUSports1) January 23, 2023
Why Didn’t Bethune-Cookman Ratify Ed Reed’s Contract?
With HBCUs the major obstacle to recruiting is always about lack of funding and resources, and, from the sound of it, that opportunity just went out the window for BCU with Reed’s departure.
Was Reed’s video where he badmouthed how HBCUs operate and handle business the correct way to go about things? No, and the former All-Pro apologized for his remarks, which should’ve never been attached to a social media platform.
But why did the school decide to not ratify his contract the same weekend that 26 would-be recruits arrived on campus to possibly make a decision to attend the Daytona Beach, Florida, school?
From a business perspective, the reaction seemed more emotional than practical.
VIDEO: Ed Reed says that he turned Jackson State Head Coaching job to be the Head Coach at Bethune-Cookman. Also mentions the Grambling opening last year. (🎥:@rolandsmartin) pic.twitter.com/acxZfcoe34
— Jeff Lightsy Jr. (@jlightsy7) January 24, 2023
It’s a shame how things are done and viewed at many of the HBCUs, and this type of unnecessary drama does nothing to dispel the notion or stigma that’s become attached to them.
It’s an embarrassing situation for all parties involved.
Bethune-Cookman Needed Ed Reed More Than He Needed Them
No one wins in this situation, but Reed isn’t in a position where he needed that job. In fact, the school needed Reed much more.
Ed Reed was notified by Bethune-Cookman that he will no longer be the Head Coach.
His response was one of the most impassioned speeches I’ve ever heard & he states @DeionSanders was right. Reed clearly loves these kids.
*Warning* — Language pic.twitter.com/M4scgM8ZR9
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) January 21, 2023
One can only wonder if Reed would’ve made a huge difference on the field, but he couldn’t have done any worse than former coach Terry Sims, who went 4-18 in his two seasons. The move to the SWAC in 2021 hasn’t been kind to the Wildcats, but with someone like Reed with NFL cachet and connections the chances of rising in the conference seem greater with him than without him.
But since that will never come to fruition, the football program is once again searching for a leader and reportedly missed out on a flow of capital that the university could desperately use.
Make it make sense.