Pride comes before a fall is a famous saying thought to originate as a misappropriation of a Bible verse from the Book of Proverbs, 16:18 - 'Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.' These words hold some significance for the Independence community at large, and in particular the campus at Independence Community College, as infamous football Head Coach Jason Brown tendered his resignation effective immediately early Monday morning. The unceremonious exit comes on the heels of the most recent incident for the firebrand coach, an alleged text message exchange between Brown and a German-born student-athlete named Alexandros Alexiou, which included language that some have deemed insensitive such as "I'm your new Hitler figure."

Brown was most certainly proud, and justifiably so, for the amazingly quick turnaround for the ICC Pirates in his short tenure at the helm of the ship. He inherited a squad that was 2-8 a season before and was just two years removed from a winless 2014. In his first year at Independence, the team went 5-4 and was 4-3 in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference in 2016, including a four-game win streak to finish the season highlighted by a victory versus Butler at home and road wins over Hutchinson and rival Coffeyville down the stretch.

In the spring of 2017, Netflix documentary 'Last Chance U' began prospecting for a new community college after spending two critically acclaimed seasons at East Mississippi Community College in tiny Scooba, Miss. Independence made the short list and the cameras were rolling for the spring game as Brown brought in one of the top recruiting classes in the country to small town Kansas. LCU eventually chose Indy as their subject for season 3, and eventually season 4, and an undeniable reason for that was the personality and controversy that would come to surround Jason Brown.

A transplant of Compton, Cal., Brown had a way with words and was able to connect with the younger generation through his use of slang, curse words and some comments that many feel have skirted the line between degrading and inspirational. Several of his sideline tirades were noted by fans and administration, however when the third season of 'Last Chance U' aired over the summer of 2018, these rants often took the spotlight and quickly became the narrative of the show rather than the tremendous performance by the Pirates between the sidelines.

In 2017, Independence enjoyed one of the best years ever on the gridiron, going 9-2 and winning their first KJCCC championship in over 30 years with a 6-1 record against conference opponents. The team capped off their dream season with a bowl win over host Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at the Midwest Classic Bowl in Miami, Okla. The postseason win was the first in school history, and as a fresh crop of top recruits were brought to town, Brown and the Pirates began the 2018 year looking for a National Championship. A large part of the continued efforts to recruit top players stemmed from the hustle displayed by Brown and his coaching staff, along with the chance to shine on a national stage through not only the Netflix series but also the opportunity to compete for the NJCAA title.

Unfortunately for Brown and Independence Community College, following their season opening win over Dodge City the team lost eight straight and finished the season 2-8 (1-6 in conference play). The Pirates were plagued by a lack of leadership, taunted by opposing players, coaches and fans, and were unable to recapture the magic that led to the historic run the season prior. It still remains to be seen how the 2018 season will be portrayed when season 4 hits the streaming service this summer, but with the lack of dramatic wins providing a natural storytelling device, the focus could shift more towards the interactions of Brown and his players, coaching staff and administration.

The most recent incident was brought to the public's attention after Alexiou, a redshirt player not listed on the active roster, felt he was not receiving proper support from assistant coaches or administration at the college following the text message exchange in which he felt discriminated upon due to his nationality. He posted the screenshots of the alleged interaction to social media and it spread like wildfire. National news sites quickly picked up on the scent and were reporting on it last week and continue to follow the story.

On Thursday, February 21, ICC held a special board meeting regarding personnel issues. The board quickly went behind closed doors, undergoing six 30-minute executive sessions before calling it a night with no action taken. Via an anonymous but trusted source, Independence Community College President Dan Barwick informed a staff and employee forum on Friday that the issue would be handled by Monday, February 25. The college released the following statement on Monday:

"Independence Football Coach Jason Brown has submitted his resignation to the college, effective immediately. Athletic Director Tammie Geldenhuys has appointed current Offensive Coordinator Kiyoshi Harris as Interim Head Coach. This has been a painful episode for the entire campus and community, and its conclusion allows us to fully focus on the students we serve. As a college, we should be defined by the outstanding educational quality and value we create for our students, and we believe we can move past this together with our community, faculty, staff and student body. The college has no further comment on this matter."

Brown also released a statement via his Twitter feed, stating in part:

"Given what has most recently been allowed to transpire, it is clear, that it will be nearly impossible for me to stay here…I urge all the naysayers on campus and in town to really look at yourself in the mirror and do a self-evaluation of yourself before so harshly judging others."

In addition, he wanted to extend his appreciation to the college and the area, adding:

"I also want to thank our community supporters and boosters, along with alumni and CP2 families. You are simply the best. Finally, I want to thank my 2019 assistant coaches and support staff who persevered through the difficulties of the past few weeks with me."

The controversy will most likely not cease until a new official Head Coach is chosen, and the topic of conversation can return to wins and losses. After a 2-8 season, no mole hill could be ignored and, quite possibly, the text exchange with Alexiou was less of a mountainous cause for mutiny, and more reasonably just the straw that broke the camel's back. And led to the fall.