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HBCU coach apologizes for offering Marcus Stokes, ex-Florida QB commit who lost scholarship over racial slur

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USATSI

Quinn Gray, head coach of the Division II HBCU program Albany State, has issued an apology after extending a scholarship offer to four-star quarterback recruit Marcus Stokes.

Stokes was originally committed to the University of Florida until a video of him singing song lyrics that contained the N-word went viral. At that point, the Gators — and most other FBS programs — rescinded their scholarship offer.

With Stokes still looking for somewhere to play college football, Quinn and Albany State reached out to him. On Jan. 24, Stokes tweeted that he had received an offer from the Golden Rams.

Less than a week later, Quinn released a lengthy apology via the school’s website. Quinn said his decision to recruit Stokes was “unacceptable.” Quinn also revealed that he had a conversation with university president Marion Ross Fedrick about the matter.

“Let me start with a humble apology,” Quinn wrote. “An apology for not honoring the tradition and history of ASU and for letting many of you down. I didn’t uphold the Ramily standard that I know you expect. Please know that my decision to speak with a student that did not meet your expectations was unacceptable. I only wanted the best for our team, athletes, and institution when I invited the student to visit ASU.

“As I say to our players, ‘there is a consequence to every action.’ The consequences of my actions brought pain to our University. I was trying to help a student get back in competition, and in my haste, I did not consider the impact the decision would have on all of you. Frankly, it wasn’t my place to use ASU as the platform for redemption in this case. I regret that I used flawed judgment. If given the opportunity, I will do better.

“ASU expects excellence. The president has made it clear that my actions did not meet that standard. It was never my intent to misrepresent what ASU stands for nor to ignore the rich history of this institution. I am fully committed to the University’s mission of supporting academic excellence and student success.”

Stokes is a four-star recruit and the No. 25 quarterback in the 2023 signing class, according to the 247Sports rankings. Since his scholarship offer was revoked by Florida, Stokes has also received scholarship offers from Alabama A&M and West Florida.

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