DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds of Bethune-Cookman University students marched through campus Monday to protest living conditions at the school and call for trustees to re-start contract negotiations with NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed, who was expected to become the school’s next head football coach.
The issues, students said, had been going on for years without answers from administrators. Students complained about mold in dorm bathrooms, broken doors, loose tiles and a pervasive odor they believed was also mold-related.
Concerns also stretched to the food halls, which students said were known to run out of food and served undercooked meat. Several also said they had trouble getting promised refunds from the financial office.
“People want them out,” student body vice president Janiya Jones said of the school’s Board of Trustees, “They want them to do better.”
Reed proved to be the final straw. University officials broke off contract negotiations with him after he went on an expletive-laden rant about conditions of the school’s facilities on Instagram.
Students, already excited about the prospect of a big name taking on the job of an HBCU head coach, felt that Reed was sticking up for them.
See photos of today’s protest in the gallery below:
“Getting rid of him was the icing on the cake,” Jones explained.
It’s unclear if university officials will reconsider their decision to restart their coaching search. Reed posted and reposted multiple images to his Instagram feed in support of the protests and calling for his own reinstatement while showing appreciation to the students who stood behind him.
A university spokesperson said a response was forthcoming as of 3:30 Monday afternoon. The chair of Bethune Cookman’s board did not immediately respond to a message left for him.
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