Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Ford and Ross Dillinger discuss the firing of Bethune Cookman’s Ed Reid after Reid posted a video complaining about the state of college facilities, and discuss whether Deion Sanders’ success at Jackson State has changed the outlook for sports in HBCUs.
Pat Ford: There is a lot of pride in a lot of these HBCUs. And that feeling like an NFL star player would be a lifesaver, and that might be a little bit great.
Rose Dillinger: Ed Reed is assigned to Bethune-Cookman.
Pat Ford: yes.
Rose Dillinger: And there’s a lot of reasons why, because of what Deion Sanders did in HBCU and all that, and kind of that line. And apparently Ed Reed isn’t, the league decided not to commit, as Ed Reed announced on his contract agreement. So they are not, his contract was never executed.
And maybe for him, I’m sure it was because a video surfaced of him pretty much lashing out at the university and harshly criticizing it with a profanity-laden video while he was driving. I think he’s on a golf cart in this video and he’s driving across campus, or around campus, around the football facility, and it just looks like things are in bad shape. There is such garbage everywhere.
And look, I covered Jackson State in the SWAC for two years. I don’t know what he was expecting in some of these places. But they will not 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 looks like a major disaster there.
Pat Ford: Yeah, no, I mean, but it was interesting, the dynamic of Deion going to Jackson State and then leaving, and Ed Reed to Bethune-Cookman. There’s a little resentment in some corners of, oh, you’re doing the HBCU a favor by coming here, you know. And we’ll tell you how bad it is when we get here, and then we’ll build it. And
I think there’s a lot of pride in a lot of these HBCUs. Not everything related to sports, but just academics, cultural heritage and everything that goes with it. And that feeling like a star player in the NFL would be a lifesaver to come in and lift them up, well, that might be a little bit great.
And so there was a little bit of resentment I think about that kind of dynamic, which I don’t know if that’s going to last. But that was an interesting little trend with Deion and with Ed Reed, that’s now over.
Dan Wetzel: Well, I think it shows Deion, this is not easy. And yeah, like I said, I mean, these programs and these universities are underfunded and under-resourced.
Rose Dillinger: extensively.
Dan Wetzel: It takes a lot of work to change that. And Coach Prime worked with different things like Walmart, then to win, and that’s why people were saying like, well, we don’t know if he’s ready for the Power Five or something. Like, because it’s hard to do what he did. I mean, it’s just a challenge. Eddie George is the coach at Tennessee —
Rose Dillinger: yes.
Dan Wetzel: – He is located in Nashville. He is a big star like any other. Obviously, huge, Tennessee Titans are great, smart guys. He used to work with us at Yahoo. very attractive. Just a cool guy. They went 4th and 7th last year. take time. Ed Reed, yeah, I put him in Daytona Beach or Bethune-Cookman and he goes this route, and you think, Oh, he’s going to get all these kids from Florida, and it’s not easy. Obviously, the school has had enough. So these are the enormous challenges that they faced. And it’s not, you can’t just snap your fingers and do what Deion Sanders did.
Rose Dillinger: Well, well, Debt raised expectations for all those guys. Like, raising expectations. I mean, Deion got —
Pat Ford: Make it look easy.
Rose Dillinger: yes. Deion got to Jackson State and the team room at Jackson State, I mean, I said it like in the show before, but it was metal folding chairs on a concrete slab in a room. Like, this is it, you know. And so it’s just an example of the problems that some of these places have. And he’s poured his own money, into sponsorship deals to turn some of these things around in terms of resources at Jackson State.
But the recruits he pulled and arrived at Jackson State still shock me. I still can’t believe some of them went there. And it probably tells us a lot about him and a lot about what many players think about him, and want to play with him. He raised expectations for a lot of these guys. And I don’t think anyone would do quite what he did.