Virginia Union athletic director denies ‘undisciplined thugs’ comments

Posted at 7:21 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 22:06:51-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Union Athletic Director Joe Taylor is dealing with a huge firestorm on campus.  Reports have surfaced that Taylor called members of the team "undisciplined thugs” and “idiots” while using expletives after telling the team the school had fired Head Football Mark James.  James coached his alma mater for four seasons, leading them to a 26-15 record with one trip to the Division II Playoffs in 2015.  Their first postseason appearance since 1991.

Virginia Union football players voiced their displeasure of not only the firing of their Head Coach but also what was reportedly said by Taylor to University President Hakim Lucas during a meeting requested by the team Wednesday afternoon.  Sources have told CBS 6 Sports that according to President Lucas, a decision will be made by Friday.

"If you know Joe Taylor, you know that's not my character" said Virginia Union Athletic Director Joe Taylor.  " We are moving forward.  The decision has been made and we are moving forward.  Just like Michelle Obama, I'm taking the high road."

Taylor has been the AD at Virginia Union since December of 2013.  Before that, he coached the Panthers from 1984-1991, compiling a 60-19-3 record with one CIAA conference title in 1986 and a trip to the Division II Playoffs.

CBS 6 Sports asked Taylor what was the biggest reason for James' dismissal "A lack of discipline" said Taylor.  "We can't have over 100 yards worth of penalties on the field and have players be disrespectful in the classroom and to women on campus."

Taylor would go to say that it wasn't his decision alone to let James go and that it was a decision agreed to by other members of the university.  He hopes to have a new coach in place within the next month.

Depend on and CBS 6 News for continuing coverage of this developing story.