Deion Sanders is long gone from Jackson State but the topic of his departure from the school has yet to wane.
The now-Colorado head coach appeared on The Pivot Podcast with Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor to discuss his transition as a Power Five coach and address, once again, his reasoning for moving on from what was a successful run at an HBCU.
While Sanders was forthright in thanking Jackson State for giving him an opportunity to be a head coach and allowing him autonomy to run the football program his way, he was candid about what drew him to Colorado and what kept Jackson State from likely retaining him.
Sanders pointed out that he was unclear whether Jackson State was willing to do everything necessary to get to the next level as he envisioned.
“It wasn’t just the resources. It was the ideology, the thought process, and the forward-thinking,” he said. “It was meeting me at the crossroads. That’s what was involved in that. And sooner or later, you have to really look in the mirror and say, ‘Are they going to get there? No. Do they even want to get there?’ And I had to ask those questions and really be honest with it.”
His message on how HBCUs can continue to maintain the momentum of mainstream interest centered around cultivating better business insight.
“The business acumen must change,” he said. “The business model must change. It has to. There has to be account and balances to that. I tried to check that. I checked that. And that has to change. We can’t keep saying ‘We don’t have poor little old me.’
During his tenure at Jackson State, Sanders had been critical of HBCU Classics model, and football programs scheduling so-called money games against Power Five opponents.
“We can’t keep doing that because we have to make the most of what we have and who we have.”