While Primetime’s name may suggest that he is all about himself, his actions show that he’s all about the team. Deion Sanders is the definition of put where your money is where your mouth is. Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders will donate half his salary to help complete the program with football facility renovations, he announced on Instagram. Sanders signed a four-year deal worth an average of $300,000 per year in 2020.
Sanders said he wanted to raise his donation to half his salary to ensure the facility is ready a month before the season starts. Sanders’s target date for completion is Aug. 4. “I’ll put half on it to get this done,” Sanders said. “If you don’t believe me, check me. I will send you the receipts to get this done for these kids. Now you got me hyped.”
Photo Cred: Forbes.com
As football fans know, facilities matter a lot, and colleges need them to attract top talent. Without solid facilities, it is difficult to elevate your team and compete with others. Sanders handing over a big check to the Tigers and that they are taken care of might be a move to grease the tracks for an eventual conference move. As conference realignment continues to unfold, Jackson State football is positioning the school for a power move. Sanders has spearheaded a renewed push in HBCU football.
Prime Time is heading into his third season as the coach of Jackson State. He led the team to an 11-2 record in 2021 and has brought national attention to the school. The program continues to build momentum, signing the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2022 class, Travis Hunter. Travis Hunter, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Class of 2022, shocked college recruiting when he flipped from his Florida State commitment to sign with Jackson State. Hunter’s decision to f a longstanding commitment to an FBS power to sign with JSU will reverberate throughout college football and the sports world.
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Hunter’s pledge to Jackson State serves as the most important signing by an HBCU in the modern recruiting era. As such, it could drastically change how HBCUs and FCS programs see themselves in the landscape of the sport. If snagging the No. 1 overall prospect is possible for Jackson State, why can’t Tennessee State sign two top one hundred players? Why can’t HBCU football get the attention and television rights deals it has long deserved?
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Now with Name, Image, Likeness (NIL), the playing field has been leveled for HBCU schools. A school has the ability to help student-athletes. While it is more challenging for small school athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities, it is possible. Players who make a name for themselves, one way or another, can take advantage of NIL deals, just like big school players do.
Photo Cred: http://www.nse.org
How many other coaches would give up half their salaries to build facilities? The coach did not hesitate to step up and get the job done. Sanders is setting the template for other HBCUs to thrive in this environment. He is leading from the front, which makes following him easy.