Deion Sanders has made the move to Colorado football, and there have been mixed reactions to say the least, to the decision. In his three years at Jackson State University, Sanders has helped bring national attention to HBCUs and HBCU football.
Now that he’s made the decision to go to the University of Colorado, reactions have ranged from anger to sadness to understanding. Sanders was reportedly making $300 to $500K with JSU, but his contract at Colorado is in the range of $5 million a year for a total of $29.5 million for five years.
Ashley Robinson, Jackson State’s athletic director, said in a statement that Sanders “challenged norms and transformed mindsets of what was perceived to be possible to create new visions for success while inspiring the community and creating a spotlight on the HBCU sports and culture.”
Sanders, 55, made the announcement on Saturday that he was heading to the University of Colorado at Boulder, leaving behind a Jackson State team that is undefeated in his third year at the helm. His overall record at the school is 27-5 and the Tigers beat Southern University handily to take the SWAC championship, 43-24, on Saturday. He’s inheriting a Colorado team that has a record of 1-11.
“In coaching, you either get elevated or you get terminated,” Sanders told Jackson State University players at a meeting to announce his decision. “There ain’t no graveyard for coaches where they die at the place. They either going to run you off or you going to walk off.”
Sanders said that he was taking the job to help open up more doors for others by moving from an HBCU to a Power Five school, the first African-American coach to do so. The Colorado Buffaloes are in the Pac-12.
“It’s not about a bag,” Sanders said. “It’s about an opportunity.” He is expected to take his son, Shadeur Sanders, the Jackson State Tigers’ quarterback, to Colorado with him.
Now best known as Coach Prime, Sanders was once “Neon” Deion, a Hall of Fame cornerback who played in the NFL for 14 seasons and won two Super Bowls. He also played major league baseball for three seasons in his athletic heyday, and he’s already set the tone at Colorado, telling the players assembled to meet him that he was “bringing his own luggage with him,” and told them that many wouldn’t be on the team next season.
“There were a number of highly qualified and impressive candidates interested in becoming the next head football coach at Colorado, but none of them had the pedigree, the knowledge, and the ability to connect with student-athletes like Deion Sanders,” Rick George, the Buffaloes athletic director, said in a statement. “Not only will Coach Prime energize our fanbase, I’m confident that he will lead our program back to national prominence while leading a team of high quality and high character.”
Here are ten of the realest reactions to Coach Prime’s move to Colorado.