Ed Reed won’t serve as Bethune-Cookman head coach

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Ed Reed is not joining the head coaching ranks at this time after all.

The legendary safety announced Saturday that Bethune-Cookman “won’t be ratifying my contract and won’t make good on the agreement we had in principle.”

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

Reed also released a video on Instagram soon after of him notifying BCU players he won’t be their head coach. 

“You know I don’t want to leave,” said Reed, appearing to be on the verge of tears while giving an impassioned speech. “They got some corrupt people in this world, some evil people who don’t care about kids like I do. So I want you to all hear the truth from me. I ain’t withdrawing my name.”

The change of course comes less than a week after Reed publicly criticized the university and HBCUs in general in a series of social media videos.

“I should leave,” Reed said at one point in a clip posted last Sunday from the Bethune-Cookman campus in Florida, after expressing his displeasure with his office not being cleaned prior to his arrival. “I’m not even under contract.” 

Reed issued an apology later that day on Twitter, which read in part:

“I would like to sincerely apologize to all BCU staff, students and alumni for my lack of professionalism. My language and tone were unacceptable as a father, coach and leader. 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.”

Reed’s initial hiring was thought to be another boon for HBCUs following Deion Sanders’ successful tenure at Jacksonville State

On Dec. 27, Bethune-Cookman announced it had reached an agreement with Reed to be its new head coach. But there were clearly concerns on Reed’s part with the FCS position, prompting him to ask for certain “provisions” in his deal. His latest statement noted that his legal team and the school were negotiating “contract terms with the language and resources we knew were needed to build a successful football program.” 

A Hall of Fame player in both the college and professional ranks, Reed spent the past three years as an administrator with the Miami Hurricanes, with whom he once starred. Reed previously served as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Buffalo Bills in 2016, two years after his retirement from the NFL. His storied playing career includes two All-American selections, eight All-Pro nods with the Baltimore Ravens, and the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Bethune-Cookman is coming off consecutive 2-9 seasons under Terry Sims. The proud HBCU program last won a conference title in 2015.

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