Doe Edwards spent the 2023 season as a recruiting coordinator and running backs coach for the Virginia University of Lynchburg football team.
That one season was enough for him.
Edwards, an Anne Arundel County, Maryland-based football recruiting specialist, has taken to social media to warn people about what he claims are nefarious operations within the VUL program, mostly by Dragons head coach and athletic director Tim Newman.
Edwards took to social media to create the hashtag #SurvivingVUL on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Throughout the season, he promised me money, recruiting bonuses, to take care of me and my family. When I got there, he didn’t,” Edwards said in a conversation with HBCU Sports on Sunday. “I left my home and a good-paying job to go down to VUL. I got behind on my bills and a lot of stuff. There were times I was down there without a car.
“I asked him to help me, and he said he would see. You need a car to pick up players for practice because the field isn’t on campus. Some guys have even had to walk to practice.”
VUL, a private, faith-based HBCU in Lynchburg, Virginia, has become a known commodity in Black College football for negative reasons, offering themselves up to NCAA Division I and Division II programs searching for a win.
VUL is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Edwards detailed behind-the-scenes issues that made the Dragons’ 2-8 record this past season seem even more miraculous.
“We had no trainers; Kids were playing through injuries all season,” he said. “In college football, you must have trainers and EMS for practices and games. Imagine if a kid died during practice. [Newman] put these titles on people that don’t have certifications.”
Edwards claimed that often players and other coaches would have to assist injured players off the field because there was no one else available to help. He also alleged that opponents would often pay their trainers extra to render aid to VUL’s players. He also mentioned that the football program charged players a camp fee prior to reporting for training camp.
“I have friends who have coached at Power 5 schools and that have never heard of this,” Edwards said. “First, it was $300. Two weeks later, the fee was $500. Some kids paid $650.”
‘All we got was the bare minimum’
Edwards also alleges verbal abuse from Newman, including shouting expletives at players during practices and in games. The travel and living conditions were also a point of emphasis.
“He would not see these kids for hours because we’re taking bus rides,” he said. “We’re talking 9, 10, 13-hour trips. We’d leave school at 6 a.m. and not eat until 5 p.m. that night. There was a game where he took us to Cici’s Pizza three hours before game time and Little Caesar’s after the game.”
Edwards claimed players stayed in dorms with mold in them as well as ran out of food during summer camp.
To add insult to injury, he claims Newman asked him to continue working without a contract.
“I’m thinking I’m gaining something from this experience. I came back home with nothing,” Edwards said. “He said to keep recruiting, and he would try to get me money in the spring. All we got was the bare minimum, I could’ve made more at McDonald’s.”
Newman declined to comment on claims when contacted by HBCU Sports
Edwards tweeted a resignation letter on Nov. 15 and began his campaign because, in his eyes, he was the only one with nothing to lose.
“I started the hashtag to bring awareness, so it won’t happen again,” he said. “If I don’t say something, then it’s going to happen to the next coaches and the new kids. People will keep getting scammed every year.”