More information is coming to light as to why Eastern Michigan decided to fire head football coach Ron English on Friday midseason. It turns out audio was leaked to the athletic department in which the coach used "wholly inappropriate language" toward his players.
Kyle Austin of the Ann Arbor News and MLive reports the tape showed English addressing the winless team using language beyond what the athletic department felt appropriate from one of its coaches.
Athletic director Heather Lyke released a statement about the situation, which doesn't provide specifics about what was said, but saying the coach's firing was based on a "culmination of factors":
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.
The firing of English, which was announced on Friday, came as a surprise simply due to the timing. He was let go one day before a conference game against Western Michigan, with just three games left before the season concludes. The Eagles are currently 1-7 in 2013. They won Saturday's game against Western Michigan without English at the helm, 35-32.
Word of the tape adds a little more clarity to the situation.
David Goricki, Terry Foster and Tony Paul of the Detroit News passed along some of the less intense comments from the rant.
"You’ll always be (bleeped) up."
"How did so many young guys go bad?"
"This is (bleep) football, as bad as I've ever been around."
"You have no respect for yourself."
"I respect football players … you ain't no football players."
Full audio of the comments are included below.
Neither report includes information about when the rant was recorded or who provided it to the athletic department. The Detroit News reports it's believed to have taken place in late October and the audio was captured by a player, but that's unconfirmed at this point.
Stan Parrish is serving as interim coach for the Eagles following English's dismissal.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles have gone through a lot as a program this season. Last month, junior wide receiver Demarius Reed was shot to death in the hallway of his off-campus apartment. Ypsilanti police are still investigating leads, but no arrests have been made.