Football coach not feeding players sparks change at J.C.S.U.

Football players say they were not allowed to eat before a game

Johnson C. Smith University said policy will be put in place to make sure no athletes are punished by not being allowed to eat -- following the controversy surrounding head coach Kermit Blount.

Sources said up to 20 players and several athletic trainers on the Division II program were denied a pre-game breakfast at it's hotel prior to a game.

The team was on the road against Virginia Union University on Saturday, Sept. 26. Sources said the coach's reasoning was because players were roughly five-minutes late to the 8:30 a.m. breakfast.

Reasons for being late varied from player-to-player.

Sources add some players had not eaten since dinner was served at 6 p.m. on Friday and were not served a full meal until 5 p.m., Saturday. We're told granola bars and oranges were, however, handed out during halftime.

After being told to leave the room where breakfast was being served, a handful of players walked a half mile down the street for fast food -- but a number of players said they did not have money to eat and consistently rely on meals provided by the University during road trips, according to sources.

One of the athletic trainers denied a meal is six-months pregnant. 

"That speaks for itself," J.C.S.U. kicker Erik Amaya said. "Not getting food....that's the essence of getting through the day."

Johnson C. Smith lost the game 33-3.

"I can go back and say it was because we didn't have any food in our system," Amaya said.

On Friday, coach Blount addressed the media on these allegations, saying he would do things differently if given another chance -- but would still punish the players for being late.

"I would handle it a little different," Blount said. "There are other options and I won't discuss those options but it could be as severe as playing time or not playing at all."

The University said it has spoken "sternly" to coach Blount about the situation, but no other punishment will be coming.

"The University takes  seriously the health and well-being of out student athletes," Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing Emiene Wright said prior to the press conference in a statement.

The 57-year-old Blount is in his first season as head coach at J.C.S.U. He previously coached at Delaware State and Winston-Salem State. Blout said his intentions were never to hurt the children, but to discipline.

"I'm not just a football coach," Blount said. "I'm an uncle, an aunt, a grandmother a grand-dad -- I'm everybody."

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