Less than a year after being welcomed as Howard University’s new head football coach, Ron Prince has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations of verbal abuse and player intimidation.
Howard’s athletic director released a statement announcing the move, which is pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the charges, according to HBCU Digest.
In October, a parent of a member of the football team sent a letter to the university’s president, stating in part:
I send this correspondence with great trepidation, and out of fear of retaliation I will not identify myself. I am writing with concern about the student athletes of the Howard University Football team. I don’t believe that this is the first complaint that you have received about the hostile and abusive head coach at Howard. 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?
Ron Prince has been threatening, hostile, abusive, and disrespectful of the young men and coaching staff at Howard University since his arrival. If a student displayed the same behavior towards another player, student, instructor, or person in the community he/she would be dealt with accordingly.
The university has since released the following statement:
Howard University is committed to completing our internal investigation of the allegations involving concerns about the football program. As a result of our continuing investigation, the University has decided to place Head Football Coach Ron Prince on administrative leave effective immediately. Director of Football Operations Aaron Kelton will serve as the interim coach until further notice. Howard University is committed to ensuring our athletic programs reflect Howard’s core mission and values and to ensuring the well-being and success of all student athletes.
Howard, currently on a five-game losing streak, is 1-8 this season. In the past few weeks, a handful of players have left the team, including quarterback Caylin Newton, who announced last month he will transfer from Howard.