Bethune-Cookman and the Strange Case of Harold Love III
NFLDraftZone.com last week reported on twisting and turning case of Harold Love III, a Bethune-Cookman senior defensive tackle seeking a career in the NFL. According to the piece, Love III was denied the chance to showcase his skill at the university’s pro day, a denial allegedly caused for many reasons, but among them, a clash with BCU head football coach Brian Jenkins over Love III telling a recruit that Wildcat coaches often misrepresent playing opportunities with the program.
Bethune-Cookman today responded to the article, which despite having its fair share of inaccuracies, such as listing Lynn Thompson as the university’s president, made the rounds with prominent sports outlets. The statement, from BCU Athletic Director Lynn Thompson:
“Our student-athlete handbook states ‘Student-athletes are highly visible representatives of the university and are expected to uphold the values and responsibilities of the institution while meeting all requirements set forth by the MEAC, NCAA, B-CU and the B-CU intercollegiate athletics program.’
The university reserves the right to prohibit, reduce and otherwise sanction the participation of any student-athlete who falls short of or compromises any of these standards.
The student-athlete was a repeat offender of university and team policies. He was and is fully aware of those policies and understands our stance and subsequent disciplinary actions imposed on him. In addition to the sanctions imposed by the university, which limit him to only academic related activities, the department of athletics also imposed additional penalties. While we have imposed these sanctions on him we also stand with him and will continue to provide the resources which will support him in his ultimate quest to graduate from our institution this spring.
Is there a possibility that Love III had a run-in with Brian Jenkins? Anything’s possible when athletic egos collide. But BCU would not go on record with Love III’s repeated violation of team policies, which likely are also university conduct violations, if there was no backing of their claim.
If Love III repeatedly violated any team or university policies, then he doesn’t get to broker the university’s backing of his professional ambitions, through the media or otherwise.
BCU will make no more comments on the matter, and is right to close the books on what appears as a last reach for the NFL from a player whose immaturity and entitlement may have botched his best chances. He should be thankful that the university remains committed to his earning a degree, and inevitably, his opportunity to have pro days everyday for 40 hours a week.