Bethune-Cookman Football Players File Petition In Favor Of Ed Reed After University Releases Official Statement

Ed Reed is out as the head football coach at Bethune-Cookman University after just 25 days, but his now-former players are hoping to have him reinstated. A group of Wildcats filed a petition not long after the school released its official statement on its decision.

Reed, who accepted the head coaching job at B-CU on a verbal agreement, did not sign a formal contract. Neither did the university.

Thus, rather than "firing" him, per se, B-CU chose not to honor its deal and did not ratify his contract. In a fiery rant, Reed made it abundantly clear that he did not resign.

Not long thereafter, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James revealed that his former University of Miami teammate had billionaire investors lined up to invest in his program.

At that point, B-CU had not shared why it decided to move on from Ed Reed.

That came a few hours later when the university finally issued a statement of its own.

Bethune-Cookman University has announced that it has decided not to proceed with contract negotiations with Ed Reed to become the next head football coach at B-CU. 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 official statement seemingly suggested that Reed's recent commentary about the school factored into the decision to move on from its 25-day head coach. It also cited recent hurricanes as reason for some of the issues that Reed presented publicly online.

While we appreciate the initial interest in our football program displayed by Mr. Reed during the course of recent weeks, we are also mindful of the qualities and attributes that must be exhibited by our institutional personnel during what have been uniquely challenging times for our campus as we recover from the impact of two hurricanes during this past fall semester.

B-CU said that it would begin its search for a new head coach immediately.

While listing the qualities that the school is looking for in its next head coach, B-CU appeared to take something of a parting shot at Reed.

Bethune-Cookman University was founded with core guiding principles centered around integrity, accountability, and mutual respect for others. These guiding principles have and will continue to weigh heavily on all decisions made that impact our university.

However, a group of B-CU players do not want the school to look elsewhere. They want Reed.

Jaden Bivens was particularly detailed in his feelings toward Coach Reed.

Running back Branden McDonald, a three-star recruit in the Class of 2021, posted a photo of a request for reinstatement. Signed by more than 20 players, it reads as follows:

Support poured-in for Ed Reed.

McDonald told HBCU Sports that Reed being ousted was "a slap in the face." He also detailed some of the change that was already in the works.

Within a few weeks, he already had a new (practice) field being built and extended the training room and cleared it out and make things look more like a program. He had changed a lot. When he came here, his energy just changed the morale of the school.

Whether Reed's social media commentary had anything to do with the school's decision not to retain his contract is unclear, McDonald said that everything he said was true.

I definitely agreed with what he said. Overall, what he said was 100 percent true. I think they (B-CU) were upset that he exposed how things looked here and they took it the wrong way when they should have took it as we needed to change.

At this point, it seems unlikely that Bethune-Cookman and Reed will come to an agreement. Based on how the latter left the former, he may not even want to return.

In the wake of Reed's ousting, players may choose to seek new opportunity elsewhere. McDonald is among them.

Whether this saga is over or not, there are a lot of questions left unanswered. The full story of how things went down between Ed Reed and Bethune-Cookman depends on who you ask.