“I’ll either be at Independence next year, I’ll be at Alabama, or I’ll be fired,” he told SB Nation then. “It’s probably going to get ratings, I guess.”
On Sunday night, the third possibility became reality. Brown admitted in a statement posted to social media that “it would be nearly impossible to stay” at the southeastern Kansas school, located a little more than 100 miles east of Wichita, after the Montgomery County Chronicle reported his exchange with freshman Alexandros Alexiou, who had posted the profanity-laced texts on social media.
Brown didn’t directly apologize, writing that the Chronicle’s report “has greatly diminished my ability to successfully do my job, and has set this program back significantly, and the cumulative effect of all these detrimental factors I believe clearly constitute a constructive discharge of my employment.”
To all my fans, supporters, both past and present players, and coaches, please read the following letter that I have posted and please respect my decision. Much love to you all, W.I.N. FOREVER! Once a Pirate always a Pirate! #DREAMU pic.twitter.com/M88TcQKvDQ— Coach Brown (@INDYHEADCOACH1) February 25, 2019
In the Feb. 12 texts, Brown threatened to take away Alexiou’s scholarship and referred to disciplinary points that Alexiou had accrued. According to the alleged texts, published on Alexiou’s Facebook page and then by Kansas radio station KGGF, Brown wrote: “410pm on field u German f---. u have 17 points toward your 25 points . . . u got an extra point for not hanging the lion poster as instructed I’m your new Hitler figure out your life.”
Alexiou asked why he had so many disciplinary points, and Brown replied: “You are now cut from the team go yell somewhere else dont come around here anymore u obviously have issues and now wont be a part of this program disturbing dorms and classes and teachers and basketball coaches and every other thing good luck alex . . . I’ll take u off the f------ scholarship I gave u too since u have forgotten that”
Brown and his team were featured on “Last Chance U” during the 2017 season, Brown’s second as coach. Its 2018 season, in which ICC went 9-2 and won the Midwest Classic Bowl, is scheduled to be shown this year. According to SB Nation’s story, Brown, who is from Compton, Calif., “is a JUCO lifer. He was an all-American quarterback at Compton Community College before finishing at Fort Hays State. Four years after completing his degree, he became the head coach at Compton. After a stint as a high school coach and an assistant at Garden City CC, he took over moribund Independence.”
ICC finished 5-4 in his first season, winning its last four games and landing on “Last Chance U.” According to Netflix, the show features “elite athletes with difficult pasts [who] turn to junior college football for a last shot at turning their lives around and achieving their dreams.” In the trailer, Brown tells players: “I don’t care if you hate me now. Love me at the end, when you get a scholarship.”
In his resignation letter, Brown cited his players’ academic performance and the appearance on “Last Chance U,” as well as other positives from his tenure.
“Regardless, I can sleep at night knowing I led with my best foot forward and graduated our players!” he wrote. “I don’t care about anything else! We turned boys into men and made them better human beings.”
As he told SB Nation, running a football program at the junior college level is tough.
“It’s an 18-month school. We don’t have an alma mater, don’t have a fight song. This is not a four-year institution,” he said. “I don’t get to build these kids for a year, so we don’t teach a lot of X’s and O’s. We had 27 Division I transfers last year — 15 Power Five transfers. I’m not teaching them nothing, and neither are my 22-year-old coaches. So we teach them how to go to class on time, how to be on time, how to be respectful to a woman, how to be accountable.
“And then we run the hell out of them and lift them hard, and we structure a program that’s militant almost. But we love on them and give them our all, and I truly believe if you get 22 of those guys going in the same direction at the same time, they’ll run through a wall for you.”
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