Ron Prince
Howard University

Howard football parents accuse Ron Prince of verbal abuse, intimidation

Howard has gotten off to a rough start on the field under Ron Prince. But parents of his players say its a lot rougher behind the scenes.

To say the first five weeks of the 2019 football season have been rough for Howard University would be an understatement.

HU has started the season 1-4, highlighted by a 79-0 loss in head coach Ron Prince’s first game against the University of Maryland. Friday news trickled out that Caylin Newton, last season’s MEAC Offensive Player of The Year, would be transferring. Newton confirmed that news on Tuesday along with three of his teammates.

If that wasn’t enough, rumblings off the field of something even more troublesome have started to trickle out of D.C.

HBCU Gameday has been contacted by several parents of Howard football players who accuse Prince of being verbally abusive and intimidating to the student-athletes. In separate conversations, parents accused Prince of sending injured players home without treatment and creating an atmosphere of intimidation within the program by the constant threat of loss of scholarships.

HBCU Gameday has been forwarded a copy of a letter a parent stated it sent to HU President Wayne Fredrick, Director of Athletics Kerry Davis, the MEAC and the NCAA on Sept. 5 by a parent. The letter is as follows:

To Who it may concern,

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 harassment, bullying, verbal, and mental abuse needs to STOP! He has demoralized, ridiculed, and threatened the players on the team since his arrival. He has removed more than 26 student athletes from the program and has threatened to do the same to the remaining athletes. He has sent injured athletes’ home without treatment and has alienated and ridiculed them for being injured he made them wear yellow jerseys and sit in the stands during a scrimmage game that was open to the public. Further adding insult to injury and belittling them to the rest of the team. Athletes are terrified of this man, he tells them they are garbage and to transfer.

Most of these young men are scared to report the abuse out of fear of retaliation. (calling them sorority sisters if someone tells the administration). The pressures of being a student/athlete especially on are enormous, this is not a complaint about not getting playing time or being able to travel to the next game this is about the emotional wellbeing of these young men.

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.

Threatening to take away scholarships for missing a community service event, making it mandatory to attend church services (that are not their religion). Telling athletes if they miss one class regardless of the reason that they are done making them take a selfie and send it to prove they are in class. Threatening to hold practice at 3:00 AM because a student athlete has class during scheduled practice time. Asking if anyone was gay? And telling them it was ok he wouldn’t hold it against them “In fact I want to have the first openly gay player(s) in the country, I know someone in here is gay!” Players were instructed not to talk to anyone without his approval.

I know currently these are just allegations, I sincerely hope that there is an investigation into what is being reported and that the hostile environment is addressed before a student has a mental breakdown or commits suicide because of this treatment.

I have heard reports that Mr. Prince has a long history of harassment and bullying in the NCAA as well as the NFL. Please put a stop to the Mental Abuse. Everyone deserves to be treated with Dignity and Respect and to work and study in a non-hostile environment without harassment or fear of retaliation. Thank you for looking into this situation.

Concerned Parent

The parents HBCU Gameday spoke with declined to give their name for fear of retaliation against their student-athletes.

“This isn’t about playing time,” one parent told HBCU Gameday. “This is about the psyche of young black men. We owe them better than that.”

Prince told HBCU Gameday he’s unaware of any complaints against him at this time.

“I have nothing to comment on that,” he said on Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t have any knowledge of it.”

HBCU Gameday reached out to Howard on Wednesday and received this statement late Wednesday evening.

“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.”

Howard football parents accuse Ron Prince of verbal abuse, intimidation
9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Modogt@hotmail.com

    October 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    This is what Howard gets in return for having people as always choosing coaches they have nothing no idea about Athletics

  2. Pierre

    October 2, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    If Howard had only due their homework weather trying to get the cheapest coach they would not be here. Howard is a black college and should be teaching our young men respect. The previous coach taught the boys how to be come young men. This coach should be removed from the school before someone kills themselves. The charges are not allegations it’s the truth. Reason I say because my son has told me first hand. This man has broken so many laws and the school will be held accountable, if this man hits a student or worse a student dies. Maryland and Penn State all over again. This problem must be handled now or the football program is over. You should talk to the QB coach who just quit last week, because he could not stand to be apart of a program that would allow this mental abuse and behavior like this upon our young men. This coach talking about FBI, there should be an investigation on him and Howard University to allow this to continue. NCCA should be called in as well. They also should have done a mental health test on this coach. He is not right and should not be allow to coach here or any other school or NFL.

  3. Petrie

    October 2, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    The sad thing is he has done this before. Look at his track record. So sad all the young men that has been mentally abused by this **** man…

    As coach:
    Dodge City CC (1992)
    Volunteer coach
    Alabama A&M (1993)
    Offensive line coach
    South Carolina State (1994)
    Offensive line coach
    James Madison (1995–1997)
    Offensive line coach
    Cornell (1998–2000)
    Offensive line coach
    Virginia (2001–2002)
    Offensive line coach
    Virginia (2003–2005)
    Offensive coordinator
    Kansas State (2006–2008)
    Head coach
    Virginia (2009)
    Special teams coach
    Indianapolis Colts (2010–2011)
    Assistant offensive line coach
    Jacksonville Jaguars (2012)
    Assistant offensive line coach
    Rutgers (2013)
    Offensive coordinator
    Detroit Lions (2014–2015)
    Assistant head coach & tight ends coach
    Detroit Lions (2015–2017)
    Assistant head coach & offensive line coach
    Michigan (2018)
    Offensive analyst
    Howard (2019–present)
    Head coach

    • Aaron

      October 3, 2019 at 11:25 am

      Anyone notice a trend in this…He hasn’t been anywhere for a long period of time. In most cases 1-2 years. That should have been a red flag!

  4. Richard Jackson

    October 3, 2019 at 1:58 am

    Do you know about the 2 lawsuits my it versus how we’re University and Madison versus Howard University is heating up

  5. Brian

    October 3, 2019 at 7:14 am

    We were glad to see him go at K-State…You all deserve better!

  6. Sdavanport

    October 3, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Concerning Howard football program..

    Wow! That’s something! I remember my neighbor posaying how humiliating the coach was and how he treated people in a dehumanizing way. How sad! I really hope they get rid of him if this is all true. College athletics is hard enough w/o adding all this b.s. to it!

  7. Cynthia Feaster

    October 3, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Prince like all abusers is lying. Howard needs to stop covering for him. Parents are making HUGE sacrifices to keep their sons at Howard; athletic scholarships don’t cover all expenses. This parent letter was sent a month ago. Why is Prince still allowed to have contact with students when he is facing allegations of student mistreatment? Is Howard begging for parents to sue them, especially if this man hurts their sons physically? Why hasn’t the university provided immediate protection for students by having someone shadow Proce when he is working with students?

  8. Aaron

    October 3, 2019 at 11:19 am

    This person should be and needs to be fired!!! If these allegations are true then he needs to be sent packing. This is unacceptable on all levels and deserves to be dealt with. He has brought a program that was set to be a top contender this year to the very bottom. His performance alone is enough to let him go. Step up Howard and protect your student athletes.

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