FERRUM — With emotions running high and communities being torn apart following recent events in our nation, new Ferrum College head football coach and alumnus Cleive Adams (Class of 2002) decided to take action.
Adams reached out to Ferrum Athletic Director John Sutyak with an idea: he wanted to invite student-athletes to an open Zoom meeting to provide support and raise awareness about social issues.
Adams’ goal was to give Ferrum’s student-athletes (football players) a safe place to gain information and perspective, ask questions, and receive answers.
Sutyak said her gave Adams his whole-hearted support.
“Because I have access to a large number of student-athletes, we thought that it would be a great start to help with healing and understanding our feelings moving forward,” Adams said.
“I really believed if I stepped out to take this on with my team, it could possibly start a positive trend for other teams while helping my young people deal with the issues, as well,’’ Adams said.
Adams said he invited Ferrum Police Chief Jim Owens to speak during the online meeting last Thursday (June 4).
“We didn’t want it to be overly formal so we agreed that I would handle the introduction and the purpose,” Adams said. “After the introduction, the chief provided us with a breakdown of his experience as a law enforcement officer, as well as his department’s vision and mission.”
More than 40 players attended the Zoom call, along with Sutyak and all of Adams’ assistant coaches.
“We had some good questions, but we hope the next opportunity we get together, the student-athletes will be more open to sharing their feelings,” Adams said.
“I am incredibly thankful for coach Adams and chief Owens coming together to collaborate and meet with our team,” Sutyak said. “These are the types of interactions we want to encourage in an effort to come together, listen and work toward meaningful change in society.
“I look forward to more dialogue in the future,’’ Sutyak said.
Editor’s Note: This story was written by Ferrum College’s Public Relations Department.