(ThyBlackMan.com) Recently, it was announced that Legendary College & Pro Football Hall Of Famer Deion Sanders aka Coach Prime left an HBCU in Jackson State in Mississippi to go to a PWI in University Of Colorado which angered many black sports fans especially those in The HBCU community. I will say the only thing that I didn’t like about the way it was handled in the sense of Deion using HBCUs to build up his cred to go to a PWI.
One of the main issues in our community is that for decades, we as black people were taught by the public school system, our parents, and even colonial society itself that we as black people shouldn’t build our own institutions that will bring many black people jobs and benefit an entire community, but instead go a get a paycheck from big white corporations, companies, and universities that view black people as less than.
To me, I have always been a fan of Deion Sanders since my childhood years in the 1990s when he was mainly dominating on the football field by popularizing the high stepping in the end zone (which is now banned these days by The NCAA & NFL) and wearing flashy suits and jewelry when he was off the field. Many people tend to forget that he also played baseball for The Yankees, Reds, Giants, but his best run of his professional baseball career came during his time with The NL Team Of The 1990s, The Atlanta Braves where he played in 2 World Series & 3 NLCS from 1991-1994.
Note: He is the only athlete in history to have played in both The Super Bowl & World Series during his legendary run in the 1990s.
Note #2: Much like myself, Deion also lives an urban straight edge lifestyle after growing up seeing relatives abuse alcohol and hard drugs like cocaine and meth. Staying high and drunk all the time is not a very healthy, productive way to live both physically and especially mentally.
Deion Sanders has forever changed the landscape and the way that mainstream media outlets like ESPN viewed HBCU sports in general because during his 2 year tenure at Jackson State, HBCU enrollment went up as well as increased national coverage and exposure to HBCU sports especially football and basketball. He brought a lot of money to The HBCU community from an economic impactful standpoint.
Coach Prime turned an HBCU football program like Jackson State from a bottom of the barrel football program to a dominant powerhouse that had now won back-to-back SWAC Conference Championships, had a 26-5 record, and even flipped a 5 star recruit from a PWI to come play for him at Jackson State in 2021.
Deion even donated half of his own salary this past summer to Jackson State to upgrade the football practice and training facility because of how absolutely bad they were before he got there and despite everything he did for them, they showed him very little appreciation and respect during his tenure there because word going around on the streets is that folks were breaking into his car five times, broke into his sons car, & even broke into his office and stole all his stuff while he was actually coaching a game which he said so himself during a postgame press conference. There’s also word on the street that Jackson State was stealing money from the football program and transferring it to scholarships. Back in 2017, it was reported that Jackson State had to give back $1.17 million to the federal government for embezzlement and misappropriation of funds. There’s corruption and financial exploitation going on at some HBCUs across the country like Jackson State.
That special black swag and excitement he brought to Jackson State as well as the love and experience he got from there will not be experienced at a PWI like University Of Colorado who has a very low percentage of black student and faculty personnel, but has an extremely high percentage football and basketball. PWIs like The University Of Colorado are historically racist institutions that only allow black people in as athletes, but not too much as students and faculty members.
One of the major differences between HBCUs & PWIs is that as either a black student, athlete, or faculty member, the love and experience that they get while at an HBCU is a 100x better than what they will ever get at a PWI.
The Conclusion – I understand that HBCUs like Jackson State don’t have the resources and advanced sports facilities that PWIs like Colorado have which is why he left Jackson State to go to The University Of Colorado. At the end of the day, coaching is a business.
Staff Writer; Kwame Shakir (aka Joe D.)