Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss Ed Reed’s ouster at Bethune-Cookman after Reed posted a video complaining about the state of the universities facilities, and debate if Deion Sanders’ success at Jackson State changed the expectations for sports at HBCUs.
PAT FORDE: There's a lot of pride in a lot of these HBCU universities. And this feeling like some star NFL player is going to be the savior, that might be a bit grandiose.
ROSS DELLENGER: Ed Reed was hired at Bethune-Cookman.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
ROSS DELLENGER: And a lot of reason why, is because of like what Deion Sanders had done at the HBCU and all that, and kind of this line. And apparently, Ed Reed is not, the university decided not to make good, as he announced, Ed Reed announced, on his contract agreement. So they're not, his contract was never executed.
And probably for him, the, I'm sure it was because of a video that surfaced of him just pretty much disparaging the university and heavily criticizing it with a profanity-laced video as he's driving. I think he's on a golf cart on this video and he's driving through campus, or around campus, around the football facility, and it's like, things are in disrepair. And there's like trash everywhere.
And look, I covered Jackson State in the SWAC for two years. I don't know what he expected going in to some of these places. But they're not going to be the Taj Mahal. But he made this video, and now all of a sudden, he's not going to be the coach. So it sounds like quite a debacle there.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, no, I mean, but it's been interesting, the dynamic of Deion going to Jackson State and then leaving, and Ed Reed to Bethune-Cookman. There's a little bit of resentment in some corners of, oh, you're doing the HBCU a favor by coming in here, you know. And we're going to tell you how bad it is when we get here, and then we're going to build it up. And
I think that there's a lot of pride in a lot of these HBCU universities. Not all of it athletic related, but just the academics and the cultural heritage and everything that goes along with it. And this feeling like some star NFL player is going to be the savior to come in and lift them up, well, that might be a bit grandiose.
And so there's been a little bit of resentment I think towards what that kind of dynamic, which I don't know whether that's going to continue or not. But that was an interesting micro trend with Deion and with Ed Reed, that's now over.
DAN WETZEL: Well, I think it shows that Deion, this isn't easy. And yeah, as you said, I mean, these programs and these campuses are underfunded and under-resourced.
ROSS DELLENGER: Vastly.
DAN WETZEL: And it takes a lot of work to change that. And Coach Prime worked with like Walmart, different things, and then to win, that's why people were saying like, well, we don't know if he's ready for Power Five or whatever. Like, because like it's hard to do what he did. I mean, it's just a challenge. Eddie George is the coach at Tennessee State--
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: --which is in Nashville. And he's as big of a star there as anything. Obviously, huge, Tennessee Titans great and a smart guy. He used to work at Yahoo with us. Extremely charismatic. Just a terrific guy. They went 4 and 7 last year. It takes time. Ed Reed, yeah, you put him in, up in Daytona Beach or Bethune-Cookman is and go that route, and you think, oh, he's going to get all these kids from Florida and, it's not easy. And the school obviously had had enough. So these challenges are enormous that they took on. And it's not, you can't just snap your fingers and do what Deion Sanders did.
ROSS DELLENGER: Well, right, and Dion raised the expectations for all these guys. Like, he heightened expectations. I mean, Deion got--
PAT FORDE: Made it look easy.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah. Deion got to Jackson State and the team room at Jackson State, I mean, I've said this like on the show before, but it was metal folding chairs on a concrete slab in a room. Like, that was it, you know. And so it's just an example of the issues that some of these places have. And he poured his own money, right, in sponsorship deals into changing some of those things resource-wise at Jackson State.
But the recruits he pulled and he landed and got to come to Jackson State still just shocked me. I still can't believe that some of them went there. And it probably says a lot about him and a lot about what a lot of players think of him, and want to play for him. He raised expectations for a lot of these guys. And I don't think anybody's going to do quite what he did.