Bethune-Cookman students protest ‘poor living conditions’ following Ed Reed video

Protests come after the former NFL star’s head football coach contract fell through

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Hundreds of Bethune-Cookman University students spent hours Monday afternoon protesting what they call poor living and campus conditions.

It comes after the school announced it stopped contract negotiations with Ed Reed as head football coach. The former NFL star took to social media talking about the campus’ conditions when he visited.

[TRENDING: Cooler temps arrive in Central Florida, but more changes are on the way | News 6 releases new app | Brevard County teacher arrested after trying to lure child for sex, deputies say | Become a News 6 Insider]

The students said Reed’s videos sparked the idea for the protest but added they have been living in poor conditions on campus for years. They said Reed brought that to a bigger stage.

“We voice concerns. We send emails all of the time. No responses. So this is what it has come to,” student Janyia Jones said.

The students shouted “the board of trustees has got to go” and listed out the problems around campus during the protest.

Some shared pictures and videos with News 6 show mold on dorm walls, ceilings and belongings.

“I pay thousands of dollars a month to be here and it’s not taken care of. The last couple months I was here, I literally was sick because of the mold. My shower makes my skin breakout,” said Saeeda, a freshman at the historically Black university.

Reed’s video on social media also called out the lack of cleanliness on the campus.

“Now I’m out here walking with the football team picking up trash,” he said in the video.

Reed had been picked to replace Terry Sims, Bethune-Cookman’s former head football coach who was fired in November amid the school’s search to find someone who could “ensure that we not only build a championship culture on the field, but also aspire to academic excellence and career achievement off the field.”

Reed was on campus during contract negotiations with the school, where he said he was met with trash and poor conditions.

“Get out of here man... These (expletives) didn’t even clean my (expletive) office when I got here,” he said.

Then, over the weekend, the school announced it stopped negotiations with Reed, putting out a statement saying it was in the best interest of the university, team and students to reopen the search.

Reed was seen in another social media video shortly after.

“There are some corrupt people in this world. Some evil people that don’t care about kids like I do,” he said.

BCU football players were disappointed by the news.

“He wants change but not just the football team. He wanted it for the HBCU, the BCU community. I feel like it’s just a slap in the face,” quarterback Tyrone Franklin Jr. said.

Other students at the protest said Reed was right.

“The way a lot of us see it, he spoke up about what was wrong, and they got rid of him because of it,” Jones said.

Bethune-Cookman University interim President Lawrence M. Drake II sent the following letter in response to the protests.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.