NFL Hall-of-Famer Ed Reed is out as the head football coach of Bethune-Cookman University.
Reed announced "with great sadness" on Saturday (January 21) that the HBCU declined to ratify his contract, ESPN reports.
“It’s my desire to not only coach football, but to be an agent of change that most people just talk about being,” he said in a statement posted to social media. “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.”
The announcement came after Reed made a string of social media posts earlier this month commenting on the state of the university. During his short time with Bethune-Cookman, Reed said he had done more for the HBCU than other longtime faculty members and alumni.
“I’ve been here for a week and a half and have done more than people who have been here in freaking years,” he said in one video. “And I’m not even hired yet. Damn shame.”
After a swirl of controversy ensued, Reed apologized for his comments about the university.
“My passion for our culture, betterment, and bringing our foundation up got the best of me and I fell victim while engaging with antagonists on social media as well," the Super Bowl champion said. “I am fully aware of the hard-working folks at our school who are also fighting to make things better and more financially sound. I am encouraged from my communication with my AD and our administration and understand it’s a work in progress. My passion is about getting and doing better and that goes for me too.”
Reed again took to social media on Saturday, posting a video clip of himself addressing his players and staff amid news of his departure. At one point in the clip, former Jackson State University Deion Sanders, who will lead the Colorado Buffaloes next season, joined the broadcast, offering support for Reed.
“You’ve got to understand Ed, God has a time and a place for you my brother, and I know your heart and everything going on inside of you and I know you do not want to leave those kids,” Sanders told Reed. “I’m praying for you right now, man, because it’s going to be the toughest thing that you have ever had to do in your life. Sometimes, Ed, you’ve got to walk away.”