NFL star threatens to remove CCU affiliation

Tyler Thigpen during a Kansas City practice
Tyler Thigpen during a Kansas City practice

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) Coastal Carolina University's first ever quarterback has issued a letter to the university, urging officials to reinstate former Head Football Coach David Bennett.

Tyler Thigpen started his career at CCU as the university's very first quarterback in a program David Bennett helped create. As a starting QB, Thigpen led the Chants to a 30-8 record.

In 2007, Thigpen was drafted to the Minnesota Vikings as a seventh round pick and then made his debut with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 as a third string quarterback. Thigpen later went on to start for the Chiefs and has also played for the Miami Dolphins.

Thigpen agreed to a three-year contract with the Buffalo Bills in 2011, where he currently remains.

In his over 6,000 word letter to the Board of Trustees at CCU, Thigpen spoke highly of Coach Bennett and the time he spent at the university, and called for the board to reinstate Bennett.

"I am writing to express my sincere disappointment and utter disgust in the dismissal of Head Football Coach David Bennett and request his immediate reinstatement as Head Football Coach," the letter read.

Thigpen went on to suggest the board was unaware of Bennett's reassignment.

"It is painfully evident the Board in its entirety was unaware of the plans to remove Coach Bennett from his position under what seems to be a hidden agenda from the University administrative personnel since the reasons given for his termination do not seem to add up to facts printed by the media."

He then referenced an article written by WMBF News' news partner The Carolina Forest Chronicle, in which attendance numbers seemed to go against what the university said was a reason for the removal of Bennett.

Throughout the letter, Thigpen claims the Athletic Department at CCU has not done its own part in helping grow the football program, citing several incidents including not showcasing current or former players' accomplishments.

"NO ONE wanted to see the football program grow and compete for a national title more than Coach Bennett," Thigpen said.  "I feel a change needs to be made in the leadership of the Athletic Department if not the University itself."

Because of the decision to remove David Bennett, Thigpen said he will sever all ties with the university and has no plans to assist the school in any way until the situation is rectified.

"As an alumnus, I vow that I will not donate a single penny to this institution again nor take part in any University function which may assist the school in raising any money until something is done about this," he said.

Thigpen even went as far as to ask the NFL to remove his college affiliation from his name, "Furthermore, I will make a formal request to the NFL and the Buffalo Bills' PR departments to have my college affiliation removed, to be replaced with my high school."

A statement sure to leave CCU, Coach Bennett and Thigpen fans devastated.

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