New information is emerging in the firing of Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English on Friday. English apparently crossed a line in the way he addressed his team. Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lyke released the following statement, via Football Scoop:
I received a tape of a situation in which Coach English had addressed the team and used wholly inappropriate language. We hold our coaches and staff to high standards of professionalism and conduct and there is no place, particularly in a student environment, where this language is appropriate. The statements made by Coach English are absolutely unacceptable. My decision to make a change in leadership of our football program was the culmination of a lot of factors including the comprehensive review of our program, the competitive performance and this tape. Our primary interest is in the well being and success of our student-athletes and this will continue to be our priority in every decision we make and every action we take. My focus moving forward is on the quality of our student-athletes' experience as well as the search process for the next leader of our football program.
The Detroit News obtained audio of English's fire-worthy tirade, which was believed to be taped by a player at some point in late October. Some of the quotes from the tirade:
• “You’ll always be [censored] up.”
• “How did so many young guys go bad?”
• “This is (bleep)work football, as bad as I’ve ever been around.”
• “You have no respect for yourself.”
• “I respect football players … you ain’t no football players.”
The censored version of the address is below:
English was nine games into his fifth season as head coach. He had an EMU record of 11-46, which included an 0-12 first season and a 1-9 record this year.
The USA Today coaching salary database indicates that English received $375,000 a year, ranking him 114th in the FBS. According to Football Scoop, Eastern Michigan had the second-lowest salary pool for assistants, a total of $1.089 million. Only two assistants made more than $81,000.
This is another chapter in a painful year for Eastern Michigan. Last month, junior wide receiver Demarius Reed was found dead in the hallway of his apartment building.