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Bethune-Cookman Football Players Petition for Ed Reed to Be Reinstated

A handful of Bethune-Cookman football players have started a petition to reinstate Ed Reed as the program’s head coach after the former NFL star announced Saturday that the school had decided not to ratify his contract.

In a photo posted on Twitter by Wildcats running back Branden McDonald, more than 20 players had signed the petition that called Reed’s dismissal “unjust.”

“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.”

Reed, who had previously been tapped to be Bethune Cookman’s coach back on Dec. 27, revealed Saturday morning that the university would not ratify his contract. He expressed his disappointment about not getting the chance to take over the program and later clarified that he was not leaving on his own accord.

“I am NOT withdrawing my name as the Head Coach at Bethune Cookman,” Reed wrote on Instagram. “The administration and the AD are forcing me out.”

The program released a statement later Saturday evening, saying that it would not “proceed with contract negotiations” with the former nine-time Pro Bowler.

“After undergoing a detailed assessment and review of the state of our football program, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our university, athletics program, and football student-athletes to reopen the search and identify the next leader of Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Football,” the statement read.

Since his initial hiring about three weeks ago, Reed had been outspoken about the conditions at HBCUs such Bethune-Cookman. His most pointed remarks came last week when he said HBCU programs have “broken mentalities” and “need help.”

“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.”