EMU's English fired for 'inappropriate language'
After a 1-8 start to the season, Eastern Michigan fired head football coach Ron English last week, ending a five-season run for the former Michigan defensive coordinator.
However, the Detroit News reported a story Saturday that leaked audio of an epic tirade by English directed at his players played a role in his dismissal.
During the meltdown, English tells his team they’re playing “shitbird football,” later referring to the team as a group of “quitting ass bitches.” English also tells his team he does not respect them and calls them “f****t ass motherf***ers.”
Eastern Michigan Director of Athletics Heather Lyke released a statement about the audio, making it clear that type of behavior is not welcome in the program.
“I received a tape of a situation in which Coach English had addressed the team and used wholly inappropriate language,” Lyke said in a statement. “We hold our coaches and staff to high standards of professionalism and conduct and there is no place, particularly in a student environment, where this language is appropriate. The statements made by Coach English are absolutely unacceptable.
“My decision to make a change in leadership of our football program was the culmination of a lot of factors including the comprehensive review of our program, the competitive performance and this tape. Our primary interest is in the well being and success of our student-athletes and this will continue to be our priority in every decision we make and every action we take.
“My focus moving forward is on the quality of our student-athletes’ experience as well as the search process for the next leader of our football program.”
English later apologized for the language in an interview with the Associated Press.
“As a man who has coached 21 years, obviously, on this occasion and particular meeting, I lost my poise, got upset and used language that was inappropriate, particularly as it pertains to homosexual slurs. I regret that,” English told the AP in a telephone interview on Saturday. “I apologize to the university for putting it in this position and tarnishing its reputation. I look forward to continuing a career that has been marked by molding men of integrity, passion, and intensity for 21 years.”
The team already experienced a large blow this season with the death of EMU receiver Demarius Reed.
Reed was found dead outside his off-campus apartment on Oct. 18 from multiple gunshot wounds. His death came one day before the team was scheduled to play the Ohio Bobcats.