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Ed Reed Says His Deal to Coach Bethune-Cookman Football Is Off

The Ed Reed era at Bethune-Cookman appears to be over before it started.

The Wildcats will not ratify a contract to hire the Hall of Fame defensive back as head coach, according to a Saturday morning announcement from Reed.

“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,” Reed said in a statement. “I was committed to cultivating a relationship with the university, players, community and the fans. It’s extremely disappointing this won’t be happening.”

Reed further clarified his status on Instagram shortly thereafter, writing, "I am NOT withdrawing my name as the Head Coach at Bethune Cookman. The administration and the AD are forcing me out."

Bethune-Cookman signaled its intent to tap Reed as its coach on Dec. 27, hiring the two-time All-American away from an advisory role at his alma mater, Miami.

In the three weeks since his hiring, Reed has spoken negatively about conditions at HBCUs such as Bethune-Cookman. He attracted criticism for referring to HBCUs as having "broken mentalities," and endorsing past critiques from former Jackson State and current Colorado coach Deion Sanders.

"We’re going to try to help y’all too man. Because I know a lot of HBCUs need help. I’m just here to help here first,” Reed said on Jan. 15. “I see it all too clearly. All of our HBCUs need help. And they need help because of the people who’s running it. Broken mentalities out here. I’m going to leave you with that.”