Nick Calcutta, the offensive coordinator at Winston-Salem State, has been fired.
Calcutta had been suspended last week by Chico Caldwell, the school's athletics director, for using a racial epithet in a team meeting, according to several sources.
Calcutta, 50, has been an assistant coach at several schools for the last 18 years, with most of those stops being at historically black universities. Among the schools Calcutta spent time at were Howard, S.C. State, Savannah State, Delaware State and Tennessee State.
Calcutta was in his second year as offensive coordinator at WSSU.
Last week, Blount, who worked with Calcutta when they were both assistant coaches at Howard in the late 1980s, would not comment on the distraction that Calcutta's suspension would have on the Rams. On Saturday, with Blount calling the plays as offensive coordinator, the Rams lost 16-13 to Savannah State at Bowman Gray Stadium.
In a statement released by WSSU, Blount was vague about Calcutta's firing.
"We have a long season ahead of us, and improving the young talent on our football team is where we will focus our attention," Blount said.
Frank Williams, the father of Branden Williams, a freshman quarterback, said that from what he heard from his son and other players, Calcutta got along great with all the players. It was Calcutta who recruited his son, he said.
"Nick was the coach we talked to all the way through the process," Frank Williams said. "And we never had any problems at all."
"It's going to be a distraction that they don't really need right now," Frank Williams said.
Still, Williams, said he believes things will be fine.
"I think it's a bump in the road," Williams said. "I think the other coaches will do a real good job of keeping everybody together and keeping their minds on the right thing and that's the rest of the season."
Despite the dismissal, Caldwell praised Calcutta's ability as a coach.
"Coach Calcutta is a good man and an excellent football coach," Caldwell said in the statement. "This is an internal matter we feel could not be resolved without further distractions to the football program. This is tough on all of us and it takes a tough man with character to put the good of the program above himself and his family.
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