unbelievable:Deion Sanders Leaving Jackson State Is No Surprise in the Coaching World why?
Deion Sanders is doing what virtually every college football coach in America would do if given a chance: He is leaving success at a smaller school with limited options for the promised land of better facilities, better support, a deeper bench of more talented players and a chance to play on a bigger stage.
Oh, and that raise from somewhere in the range of $300,000 to a reported $6 million a season at the University of Colorado doesn’t hurt.
Good for Sanders.
But while I’m happy for him, I feel a sense of mourning.
That’s because of the context. Sanders was the coach at Mississippi’s Jackson State University, a historically Black institution with a deep football history that had fallen on hard times. He arrived in 2020, a year of heated discourse and protest over racism and police brutality in the United States, prompted by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.
And now Sanders is gone — and the expectation is that he will take coaches and some top recruits with him. His departure is a blow to a dream of uplift that was probably too gilded by hope than reality. His move is understandable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hurt.
Some critics have called Sanders a sellout.
Some see his move to a primarily white university whose football team has not significantly won in decades as a slap in the face to historically Black colleges like Jackson State.
Still others have said they understood the move while deriding Sanders for having said God led him to Jackson State, only to end up ditching the school after three seasons. Was leaving part of God’s plan, too?
There are good points in those arguments, but it can’t be forgotten that Sanders successfully turned around Jackson State football, returning the team to a form resembling its old glory and lifting, albeit briefly, the school’s public profile. He will be on the sidelines for one last game as his undefeated team plays another H.B.C.U., North Carolina Central, in Atlanta’s Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17.