Over the previous couple of weeks, the state of affairs regarding Ed Reed’s short tenure as the top soccer coach at Bethune-Cookman College has transcended discussions amongst these in Daytona Seaside, Florida, the Southwestern Athletic Convention (SWAC), and Traditionally Black Schools & Universities (HBCUs), as a dialog in regards to the struggles that a few of these establishments are dealing with — and why issues are the way in which that they’re — had been hijacked by the antics of 1 particular person.
Ed Reed retains getting in Ed Reed’s method. And it’s the principle purpose why “he ain’t SWAC.”
What transpired with Reed
In a span of about 10 days — by way of social media — we’ve watched Reed go on an ignorant and uninformed rampage in regards to the “broken mentalities” that every one leaders at HBCUs supposedly have, rant about the conditions at a college that’s nonetheless coping with the fallout from a pandemic and the consequences from a hurricane that altered campus operations, apologize for his unprofessionalism resulting from an excessive amount of ardour, after which throw multiple expletive-filled temper tantrums on Instagram Live and media appearances all as a result of the brass at BCU had the knowledge to half methods with a person that has confirmed he’s unfit to run a Division I soccer program at a college that was based by one among this world’s biggest educators, humanitarians, and civil rights activists — Mary McLeod Bethune.
“My imaginative and prescient for change might be shifting too quick for lots of people,” Reed stated in one among his movies. “I’m not withdrawing my title as they’re saying, they don’t need me right here.”
The school’s official statement doesn’t point out something about Reed withdrawing his title, because it factors to “the qualities and attributes that have to be exhibited by our institutional personnel throughout what have been uniquely difficult occasions for our campus as we get well from the affect of two hurricanes throughout this previous fall semester,” being the rationale why they didn’t proceed with negotiating a contract with him.
Two issues occurred within the aftermath of the college’s determination — one optimistic and one damaging.
The unhealthy is that, as soon as once more, far too many Black and white people who haven’t any connection or want to know HBCU tradition or the historical past of those establishments have turn out to be in a single day students on what ought to and shouldn’t occur, as they’ve one way or the other magically comprehended over a century’s price of context, information, and experiences to give you an answer that can immediately remodel BCU right into a utopia. It’s why Deion Sanders has been one among Reed’s greatest supporters throughout all of this, as Reed was “primed” and able to observe in his footsteps as a faux savior for HBCU sports. Sanders used and give up on HBCUs and Jackson State when he bolted for Colorado. It’s why he gave Reed comparable recommendation disguised as if it was a directive from God.
“Typically, Ed, you gotta stroll away my brother,” said Sanders. I do know it’s robust. I do know you don’t need to hear it. However typically in life, we gotta stroll away. You didn’t let no person down, Ed. You didn’t allow them to children down, you probably did what you needed to do and also you tried your greatest.
“You realize what God needs from you — be that. Don’t allow them to provoke you my brother.”
The optimistic of this example is that BCU college students have began to talk out on the problems that they’re dealing with on campus and are holding the management accountable — forcing them to do higher. Over the previous couple of days, college students have protested on campus and used social media to voice their concerns, the university’s president has admitted to mildew problems, and we’ve seen proof that the requirements are missing in sure areas as members of the soccer staff were sharing helmets throughout a recreation.
Calling for change
The youth have at all times been the catalyst for change, as their voices and want to be heard and acknowledged are the muse for progress — stopping stagnation. College students protesting at HBCUs is a part of the tradition and expertise. It’s virtually unimaginable to seek out an HBCU alum who wasn’t concerned in or witnessed some type of protest on their campus throughout their matriculation. Simply take a look at Samuel L. Jackson, as he was expelled from Morehouse College throughout the late Sixties for his half in locking board members in a constructing as a part of a bunch who had been protesting the college’s governance and curriculum.
Protesting is a ceremony of passage at HBCUs, and this technology of scholars at BCU is having its second. Nevertheless, it’s honest to be skeptical — and take observe — that the scholars’ rightful protests might have occurred earlier than Reed ever confirmed up on campus, as the problems existed earlier than his arrival.
Nonetheless, we’ve arrived at a second during which change and progress are destined to happen on that campus. However, sadly, the eye on that campus, its college students, and the enhancements that will likely be made received’t get any of the eye that the drama previous it did.
That’s what’s so irritating in regards to the Reeds and Sanders of the world, as the eye that they delivered to BCU and JSU might have been eternal in the event that they got here within the door ready and asking “what can we do for you?” as an alternative of being fixated on what these colleges and their cultures might do for them.
Bethune-Cookman College and Jackson State College are two proud establishments which are pillars of the HBCU panorama. Within the grand scheme of issues, Reed and Sanders will likely be footnotes within the histories of these colleges. And which may be the saddest a part of all, on condition that they might have been chapters if it wasn’t for Deion Sanders’ selfishness and Ed Reed’s lack of decorum. There’s no level in placing a highlight on one thing if you happen to’re not going to be round lengthy sufficient to see it by way of.