Deion Sanders is Colorado’s $280 million man (after four games)

Deion Sanders is Colorado’s $280 million man (after four games)

Colorado athletic director Rick George gave a surprising answer last year when asked how he came up with enough money to pay for his new football coach, Deion Sanders.

This was on Dec. 4, the day he introduced Sanders in Boulder.

“We don’t have the money yet,” George told reporters then. “But I know we’ll have it.”

Ten months later, it turns out the university found the money. And it wasn’t hiding under the cushions of the sofa. It came instead from a return on investment with Sanders that has become shocking in scope, unlike anything ever seen less than a year after hiring a new college football coach.

Two numbers sum it up. Here’s what Colorado is set to pay Sanders over five years through 2027, according to his contract with the university:

The $280 million is a conservative estimate compiled by USA TODAY Sports. It includes increases in football ticket sales from last year ($20 million), increases in donations ($8 million), increases in other categories (at least $3 million) and the estimated value of the increased media exposure that came with hiring a Pro Football Hall of Famer who attracts so many cameras ($249 million

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