Tom Perry, a Howard University assistant football coach who was charged last year by a number of Bison players with physically abusing at least one player in practice, has left Howard to become as assistant at Brown University.
Perry, 25, said yesterday his decision to leave Howard was not connected with those accusations. He said he left after "two fruitful years" there because "the opportunity to coach at Brown -- an Ivy League school -- looks good on the resume, as far as my career is concerned."
Because of the charges, there was pressure on both Perry and the university administration, prompting unconfirmed reports early this year that Perry's contract would not be renewed. Howard Coach Floyd Keith and athletic department officials denied the reports at that time.
A subsequent report by a Howard task force committee and a statement by Howard President James Cheek acknowledged that two members of Coach Keith's staff had physically and verbally abused players. Neither the report nor the statement named the coaches involved.
When asked yesterday if Perry's leaving was a result of the accusations and subsequent investigation, Keith responded: "What kind of question is that? . . . He went to Brown because it was a good opportunity to advance his coaching career."
The 6-foot-5 Perry, a heavily muscled man who played at the University of Colorado, was at least partly responsible for the rapid improvements of Howard's linebackes last season. But many players on the team, asking for anonymity, said they were wary of his presence. p
In a telephone interview from Providence, R.I., Perry said the controversy at Howard the past two seasons "was no factor at all in making my decision to accept this offer to come to Brown."
Perry, who said he has been working at Brown for two weeks now, has been replaced by Ed Lambert, an assistant last year at Boise State, the Division I-AA champion.
Howard also announced that Gary Campbell, a former UCLA and San Diego Charger players, will be the running backs coach, replacing Ken Mack, who joined the Naval Academy football staff this spring. Campbell was an assistant at Southern University last season.
"It didn't take me long to decide on the new coaches," Keith said. "They're both good, very good." Keith said his staff has spent time observing the Cleveland Browns at camp in preparation for the first Howard practice Aug. 12.
Perry said he is anxiously awaiting Brown U.'s frst practice Aug. 21 and the team's opening game against Yale. Perry will be the coach of the receivers and tight ends. The head coach at Brown is John Anderson.
"Someone has recommended me to Coach Anderson back in the spring," Perry said. "But nothing came of the initial meeting. Then, something opened up late, I flew up and had an interview and everything went well.
"I talked it over with quite a few people. It's really a career move.
This is the first time since college (where he played some as a fullback) that I'll be on the offensive side of the ball. I want to be capable of coaching more positions, to be more valuable on the coaching market.
"I've been told that making moves every two or three years is good for a young coach if he expects to advance. This job will hopefully give me the exposure and learning experience I need. And, obviously, the Ivy League is attractive."
Perry also said that Brown's schedule was a major factor in attracting him. "We already have opponents like Yale and Army. And Penn State will be on our schedule beginning in 1983," he said.