Ron Prince is back in the headlines, but not for reasons he’d want, I’m certain.
Earlier this week, Caylin Newton, brother of 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, announced on Twitter that he had decided to transfer from Howard. A day later, a report surfaced that has cast Prince’s FCS program in a decidedly negative light.
The website HBCU Gameday reported Wednesday that they had “been contacted by several parents of Howard football players who accuse Prince of being verbally abusive and intimidating to the student-athletes. Additionally, the website writes that “parents accused Prince of sending injured players home without treatment and creating an atmosphere of intimidation within the program by the constant threat of loss of scholarships.”
The site also published an anonymous letter that been sent to not only the university’s president and athletic director but also to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference as well as the NCAA. In the letter, an unnamed parent described Prince as a “hostile and abusive head coach,” stating that “Prince has been threatening, hostile, abusive, and disrespectful of the young men and coaching staff at Howard University since his arrival.”
“The harassment, bullying, verbal, and mental abuse needs to STOP!” the letter continued. “He has demoralized, ridiculed, and threatened the players on the team since his arrival. …
“You hold all [student-athletes] to a very high standard, if there is an allegation about misconduct they are suspended and or removed from the team, and maybe from the institution. Why are coaches not held to the same standard when it comes to blatant disrespect and harassment of [student-athletes]?”
The letter also levies various accusations at Prince, including calling players “cowards” or “sorority sisters”; making church service attendance mandatory; a bizarre alleged threat of an FBI investigation over point-shaving; and telling players he knows someone in the locker room is gay and he wants them to come out because he wants to have the first openly homosexual player in the country.
“I know currently these are just allegations,” the parent wrote. “I sincerely hope that there is an investigation into what is being reported and that the hostile environment is addressed before a student has a mental breakdown or commits suicide because of this treatment.”
Prince has claimed he has no knowledge of the allegations, the website noted. An email sent from CFT to the university seeking comment on the accusations has yet to receive a response.
The 50-year-old Prince is in his first season as the head coach at Howard, with the Bison off to a rough 1-4 start to the season that included a 79-0 loss to Maryland in the opener. A longtime college football coach, Prince spent three years (2006-08) as the head coach at Kansas State after succeeding Bill Snyder following his first retirement.
This past season, Prince was an offensive analyst for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan.