Luther Campbell has been doing inner city Youth football for over 20 years.
He has been coaching high school football for three years. He has done more for inner city kids than any of these people on the school administration board have don’t, but all they remember are the 2 Live Crew.
Campbell wants to be known by one phrase: Coach Luke. In August, he’ll enter his fourth season as a high school assistant coach — if Florida’s Education Practices Commission will let him. For the past three seasons (two at Miami Central and one at Northwestern), Campbell has coached using a temporary certification. That certification expired at the end of the 2011-12 school year. To continue coaching in Miami-Dade County, Campbell will need a permanent certificate.
An administrative judge has recommended that Campbell be allowed to coach, but last week the Florida Department of Education appealed that recommendation. In the appeal, the department’s attorney, Charles Whitelock, wrote that “the Petitioner lacks the required good moral character” to coach students. The state has investigated Campbell’s past and present, and the Education Practices Commission will have to decide sometime this summer whether it should allow one of the men behind Me So Horny — and other songs whose titles aren’t printable in a family publication — to influence high-schoolers.
On May 15, Judge Robert Meale recommended that the Education Practices Commission approve Campbell’s certificate. Shocked? Not half as shocked as the inner-city coaches and community leaders who can’t believe this process has taken so long. To the nation, Campbell may be a symbol of when hip-hop went naughty. In Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, he is the man who started a youth football program and has kept it running strong for more than 20 years. He is the taskmaster who tracks down absent mothers to sign insurance forms. He is the coach who lets players stay at his house when they need a momentary escape from one of Miami’s most dangerous areas. He is the man who encourages his players to get out of their troubled situations by going to college and graduating. He would love if they all made it to the NFL, but he knows that won’t happen. He wants only for them to earn degrees so they can have what he has: a house in a safe neighborhood with a wife, a toddler and a Cocker Spaniel.
“You might not play a day in the NFL, but you can get an education,” Campbell said. “That’s your whole, primary goal. You can get your education and live a productive life and do something with yourself other than standing on the corner.”
You should definitely read the entire SI.com article.
Truly pathetic on their part, the same people who are trying to deny him wouldn’t be caught dead in the neighborhoods where these schools are.
Stop high horsing and give the man his coaching license.