At the end of his weekly appearance in front of local and national HBCU football media, Deion Sanders requested an iPhone because he had something to say.
After receiving the device, the Jackson State head coach read aloud the payout guarantees SWAC schools accepted in exchange to compete against FBS opponents through the first two weeks of the regular season.
And he wasn’t too happy looking at the figures compared to the results of the matchups.
A shorthanded Florida A&M received $450,000 to lose 59-24 at North Carolina in a Zero Week nonconference game. Southern got $760,000 to play LSU. The Jaguars were beaten 65-17. Alabama State traveled to the Rose Bowl to play UCLA. The Hornets received $590,000 and were defeated 45-7.
“If we gone get our butt kick shouldn’t it be worth it,” Sanders bristled on Monday. “How in the world are we settling for the peanuts in the little minute droppings that they giving us when everybody’s darn near $500,000-600,000?”
Marshall, an FBS program, Sanders mentioned, got $1.25 million to play at Notre Dame.
“Appalachian State got a $1.5 million to play against Texas A&M. Georgia Southern got $1.4 to play against Nebraska and so forth,” Sanders read from his phone.
Sanders has long held the opinion that HBCU football programs should stay away from so-called “money games” against FBS schools, especially versus Power-5 opponents because whatever financial windfall obtained hasn’t justified scheduling them.
“You’re going to lose pride and dignity when we sit up and telling you we’re just as good but you go out there and show that we’re not as good,” Sanders explained. “We’re not nearly as good. And then you lose in three to four players because of the type of beating that you’ve got.”
Jackson State under Sanders has played only one FBS opponent when it traveled to Louisiana Monroe last season. JSU was paid $300,000 for that game.
Sanders suggested that HBCUs — if those games are being considered — not settle for dollar figures that wouldn’t do much in terms of adding significant revenue to programs.
“Who is negotiating this? Should we get together and huddle up as the HBCU and say we’re not playing these beat-down games unless we get this,” he said. “You can negotiate above that has the level be $750,000 or 1 million. Have something make it worth your team’s wild. Because you’re going to lose players.”
The third-year head coach was adamant that whatever revenue is acquired by schools should be funneled directly to the football team, not shared throughout the rest of the university.
“The millions should go directly to your football department. They’re out there getting their butts kicked, not the rest of the school,” said Sanders. “They’re out there getting injured, and then you want to spread it out amongst the school. I don’t agree with that.
“If they’re out there playing, they should reap the benefits of the sacrifices that they’re making. I just don’t like what I’m seeing.”
Sanders called the continued practice “the ultimate sellout.”
“I rather us get together … somebody take the lead — I’ll be glad to — I’m used to being in that position and say you know what, we’re not doing it,” said Sanders.