Second NFL player, former Chanticleer sends letter to defend Bennett

Mike Tolbert (Source: Associated Press)
Mike Tolbert (Source: Associated Press)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) Mike Tolbert, former Chanticleer running back and current San Diego Charger, has sent a letter to Coastal Carolina University on behalf of former head football coach David Bennett.

Tolbert's letter was received Saturday, and is the second letter from an NFL player and former Chanticleer to defend Bennett to the Coastal Carolina University Board of Trustees after the letter sent by Tyler Thigpen earlier this week, threatening to sever ties with the school.

The letter sent on Tolbert's behalf is below:

Being a Coastal Carolina football alum that doesn't have intimate knowledge of the situation, but knowing the political aspect of what's been going on around the football program since Moose (Warren "Moose" Koegel) was fired or reassigned, I'd say it was damn near impossible for Coach Bennett, whom I know VERY well, to do his job to the satisfaction of the new President and AD.

David Bennett is more than just a coach. He's a father figure to some that grew up without fathers. He's the mentor that an immature 19 year old needs to push you through the days that are the toughest. My grandmother passed away 2 years ago. Coach Bennett was the 1st person to call and I had no idea how he knew but it was greatly appreciated.

Coach Bennett and that coaching staff we're more than coaches. They were and still are family. I'm deeply disappointed in the way that this came about and for the 1st time since I signed a scholarship in 2004 to play for Coach Bennett and CCU, I'm ashamed to call myself a Chanticleer. For the new regime coming in to CCU, I pray and hope that you win and win fast and often because it's obvious that the new AD and the president only care about the money they spend on the program and the win loss column.

The coaching staff that is leaving preached GOD and family 1st, school 2nd, and football 3rd. That way of thinking turned me into the man I am today. A very successful person that has a wife that I adore and a newborn baby girl. I'd be completely happy if I'm able to teach my children half of what Coach Bennett taught me. To Coach Bennett, I'm a real DOG and I'll always be one because of you.

Thank you for teaching me more than just football. Thank you for teaching me how to be a man that accepts responsibility. Thank you for embracing me into your family on and off the field.

Thank you for the belief that I can right my wrongs and be a better person from it. Most of all, thank you for the number of opportunities you've given me off the field to better myself. Because of you and that coaching staff, I'm proud to say I'm a happy husband, father, son, brother, businessman, athlete, and most importantly friend to you. Thank you for everything! love you much. Mike Tolbert #35 SAN DIEGO 


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