“Howard University is committed to ensuring our athletic programs reflect Howard’s core mission and values,” Davis said, “and to ensuring the well-being and success of all student athletes.”
Last month, a website devoted to HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) sports published a letter it said was sent in September by a Howard player’s parent to Davis and university president Wayne A.I. Frederick, as well as to the NCAA and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, in which the Bison compete.
“Ron Prince has been threatening, hostile, abusive, and disrespectful of the young men and coaching staff at Howard University since his arrival,” the letter read.
Elsewhere, the anonymous parent wrote, “Athletes are terrified of this man, he tells them they are garbage and to transfer. … To call them cowards and threatening FBI investigations for point shaving and telling a player that he is going to federal prison and placing blame on the team when you lose 79—0 is unacceptable."
Howard began its season with a 79-0 loss to Maryland and has since gone 1-8, with three games left in its season. Several Bison players entered the NCAA transfer portal last month, including star quarterback Caylin Newton, brother of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
“There were some extenuating circumstances that we considered in this abrupt decision,” Newton’s father, Cecil Newton, told The Post at the time.
In response to the publication of the letter, the school issued this statement last month: “Howard University does not tolerate verbal abuse or threats of any kind. The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance and always our number one priority. We are taking swift action to understand and investigate the allegations pertaining to the treatment of student athletes on the football team.”
A spokesperson for Howard athletics told The Post Wednesday via email that the school would have no additional comment at this time about the decision to place Prince on administrative leave.
Prince, 50, replaced Mike London in December, becoming the Bison’s fourth football coach in five years. He spent 2018 as an offensive analyst for the Michigan Wolverines, was an assistant with the Detroit Lions from 2014 to 2017 and was the head coach at Kansas State from 2006 to 2008 before stints as an assistant with the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as at Virginia and Rutgers.
“I think I have a pretty good sense of Howard,” he said before the season. “I have a pretty good sense of the history here, and I’ve seen firsthand how to win and to win in the highest way possible in this conference.”
Saying in August that he wanted to turn Howard into “FCS equivalent” of Stanford, Prince told The Post, “I think I’m different from a lot of guys who have experience at big-time programs or in the NFL and come to an HBCU school and think they’re missionaries, doing everyone a favor by being there. I know there’s a long way to go here, but I believe we can do great things.”