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How Howard University coach Larry Scott is leading his team from home

How Howard University coach Larry Scott is leading his team from home

Starting any new job can be stressful, but starting it under a COVID-19 outbreak? A whirlwind.  

That’s exactly how Howard University’s new head football coach, Larry Scott, describes it.  

“You take the job beginning of February and ask yourself, what all has to be done?” Scott said. “And you go, ‘Everything.’”   

And yet you can’t do anything outside of your home. 

Scott is challenged with trying to change the culture of a team that finished the 2019 season 2-10, seventh in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He’s had to evaluate his roster, hire a new coaching staff, and hopefully bring in the right recruits.  Seems impossible, but Scott sees it completely the opposite.  

“It’s all about people, it’s all about building a strong connection within a team,” Scott said.  “Thank god I had some really good strong relationships with some coaches that I have worked with and admired from afar."

Scott coached under Dan Mullen at the University of Florida and Butch Jones at the University of Tennessee, learning leadership skills he has relied upon while installing his own system at Howard -- especially during this trying time.   

“It actually plays well into the whole concept -- football is still about people and how you make them feel,” Scott said. “Trust factors are built though connections.” 

Howard’s football team holds position meetings two times a week, staff meetings once a week, and uses Zoom to communicate with players daily.  Scott held his first full team meeting on Monday using Microsoft Teams while his strength and conditioning coach sends out daily workouts via Twitter challenging players to find creative ways to stay in football shape.  

Full-body workouts can be better than weights. Packing a book bag or finding water bottles can substitute creativity when the normal tools are not available. It’s about taking ownership of your body, when no one is telling you what time to be in the gym or standing over you counting reps.   

But all that is expected for a football team. Scott is also holding meetings that involve the full academic staff.  

“We have a plan for how we’re attacking academics and our online classes,” Scott said.  

A big part of that are talks on shifting the grade system to pass-fail concepts and where to accept letter grades. Scott wants his players to keep their scholarships and stay eligible. If they don’t keep their studies up, all the training in the world won’t matter. There is no football. Not even when football returns.   

For Scott, the cool thing about communicating all this to young men, is just that. They’re young. The virtual world is more their reality than any previous generation. They order all their food through Uber Eats. They have endless apps on their phones. They can adapt because technology lets them. And in so doing they help their coach adapt, too, during tough times. Together, when they finally return to the field, Scott believes they’ll all have a deeper appreciation for college football. 

“It’s kind of fun entering into their world into how they see things and view things and being able to still reach them and relate to them and teach them on a level that is expanding our mind,” Scott said. “It’s still about seeing young people find ways to have success, create avenues of opportunity.”   

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Patrick Ewing and Mark Turgeon release statements following George Floyd's death

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Patrick Ewing and Mark Turgeon release statements following George Floyd's death

Georgetown's men's basketball coach Patrick Ewing and Maryland's men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon released statements following the death of George Floyd on Monday. 

Floyd, a black man, died after Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes. His death has sparked civil unrest across the country.


We have a responsibility and a platform to speak out against racism and injustice.

We will not be silent. We will not ignore senseless violence and brutality. We will be a part of the solution.

We stand with those mourning the death of George Floyd and countless others who have senselessly lost their lives in tragic acts of racial injustice. It's time for our voices to be heard.


As I have discussed the horrific death of George Floyd the last few days privately with both my team and family, I have come to understand that as a leader of black young men it is imperative to extend the reach of my voice.

In the words of human rights activist Desmond Tutu, 'If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.'

Discussing the matter with my team and family is not enough. It can't be enough.

The recent senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others has sickened me to my core. I want to express my condolences to all affected.

We are all in this together and we must work to rid our country of injustices and racism. It will take real work. It starts with never forgetting these moments. It also means committing ourselves to further education in racism and social injustice.

Over the coming days and weeks our team will read 'Why We Can't Wait' by Martin Luther King Jr. and discuss each chapter to better understand systematic racism and what we can do to fix it. We will hold each other accountable in developing meaningful next steps.

This is an unbelievably challenging time in our country in so many ways. We should support all communities that have been impacted by these tragedies, including those impacted by social injustices and also the men and women of law enforcement who do serve their communities with honor and respect. We must stand together and unite now more than ever.

The two coaches are a part of many members of the sports community that have made statement's on Floyd's death and the ensuing protests. A group including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Bradley Beal and Richard Sherman have spoken out on social media.

Chauvin and the three other officers involved in the incident were fired. Chauvin was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Maryland football coach Mike Locksley releases statement on George Floyd's death

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Maryland football coach Mike Locksley releases statement on George Floyd's death

Maryland football head coach Mike Locksley released a statement on social media following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, a black man, died in police custody after a police officer kept his knee on his neck for several minutes. His death has sparked civil unrest and protests in Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York City, Richmond, Va. and several other cities across the country. 

The statement read:

I've been truly struggling attempting to grasp the events of the past few days. My heart goes out to George Floyd and his family. As a father and a coach of players for 30 years that look like George Floyd and myself, it breaks my heart to see this type of behavior continue to be accepted. Regardless of race and color, it's sad and scary to know that these type of events continue to happen in our communities. 

This type of senseless tragedy should never happen and cannot ever be normalized. I will continue to pray that none of my children or players - past, present or future - ever run into the type of injustice that we've seen this week. I sincerely hop ethat these tragedies make us all take some time to think about how we view and treat others. It's on all of us to CREATE CHANGE and DO THE RIGHT THING.

Several other athletes have used their platforms to address Floyd's death and the civil unrest that has followed. Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle released a statement on racism on Friday. Wizards star Bradley Beal sent a series of tweets to address some of the protests.