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Morgan State coach learns of a plan to fire him through an inadvertently forwarded email

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Emailing can be complicated.

There are so many buttons — reply, reply all, forward — and it's just too easy to confuse them all, just ask Morgan State athletic director Floyd Kerr.

Kerr, Tuesday, accidentally forwarded a plan to fire his head football coach to his head football coach Donald Hill-Eley. Eley, who is coming off a 3-8 season and has one year remaining on his contract, had no idea his job was in jeopardy, and other than an apology from Kerr, he's heard nothing about it since.

But at least he'll know the warning signs when he sees them.

The email, which was originally sent by Kevin Banks, Morgan State's vice president for student affairs, talked about honoring Hill-Eley's final year and possibly reassigning him to another post at the university. The email detailed the university's plan to search for a new coach this month and have a replacement in by January.

Hill-Eley told the Baltimore Sun that he's asked Kerr to direct any other communication to his agent.

Hill-Ely, 43, is 54-69 in 11 seasons at Morgan State, which is located in Baltimore, Md., but just finished his third consecutive losing season. Hill-Ely told the Baltimore Sun that despite a push from the university to be more competitive, he hasn't received the financial support to achieve the goal.

Obviously, in the heat of firing season, releasing a coach for cause has been a popular subject. Three consecutive losing seasons is a valid reason to part ways with a coach, but inadvertently letting him know via email is just bad. Very bad.

Kerr should have just owned up to it and said, "Yep, we're firing you. Sorry you had to find out like this, but the decision has been made." Now they have to exchange awkward glances in meetings and try to avoid each other in hallways. That's has to be awkward for everyone in the athletic department.

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