Morgan AD: Mitchell not resigning Purnell says statements made after Saturday loss were to motivate team

September 15, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Morgan State athletic director Garnett Purnell said yesterday that football coach Stump Mitchell's veiled threat of resignation after Saturday's loss to Bethune-Cookman was made strictly to motivate the team.

Frustrated by an effort that included five Morgan fumbles, three recovered by Bethune-Cookman, Mitchell said, "Now I go to my athletic director and have a conversation and see what he wants to do."

Mitchell and Purnell held three lengthy meetings between late Saturday afternoon and yesterday morning.

Purnell said he told Mitchell, "You're going to scare some people when you say that."

Purnell also denied a WMAR-TV report that Mitchell had tendered his resignation and Purnell refused to accept it.

In the meantime, Purnell said he met with the coaches, team captains and the team as a whole to try and solve problems that have led to what is seen as an unlikely 0-2 start at the Northeast Baltimore school.

In each of the two games, the Bears have been hampered by poor tackling on defense, constant mistakes on offense leading to penalties and ineptitude on special teams.

Purnell said the problems were addressed in meetings with the players for the purpose of letting them know what was expected of them.

"Now, they can't come back and say 'I didn't know,' " Purnell said. "If everyone is on the same page, then there is no way you can't get the task done."

Pub Date: 9/15/98

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