Deion Sanders electing to leave Jackson State for Colorado caused a major backlash with fans and soon debates would begin. Sanders had always spoken with pride about strengthening HBCUs, so his decision to take a Power 5 job after just two seasons with the Tigers has left many to criticize—including ESPN’s Bomani Jones.
During an appearance on CNN, Jones had a fiery statement about Sanders when discussing whether he should be criticized for taking the job. While he does not blame him for taking the Colorado job, he thinks he shouldn’t have said what he said when at Jackson State if this was his intention all along.
“I don’t judge him for taking the job at Colorado. They probably increased his salary by something like 15 times. I totally get that. It all makes sense. But what he did was something that college coaches do all the time, which is, you have to sell people four-year, 10-year plans when your plan is only one year at a time.
“So he came in, and he sold a long-term vision for what was going on at Jackson State, but his goals and ambitions were always to be a Power 5 head coach. My take has always been, he went to Jackson State primarily because he wanted to be a head coach but didn’t want to ever be anybody’s assistant coach. So he had to find somebody that would give him a job and make him a head coach so he could have that on his resume and then he could take that to try and get the job that he actually wanted.
“Jackson State was the place that could do it, and he did a lot of good work while he was at Jackson State, but all the bigger grandiose notions of what he was doing for somebody else, no, it was what it always is. He did it for Deion, and that’s fine, as long as you don’t tell us you’re doing it for somebody else.”
Back in September, Sanders said he was “called by God” when asked why he chose to coach an HBCU.
Jones believed Sanders did it for himself and only looked for what benefited him the most.
“He did a lot of good work while he was at Jackson State,” Jones said. “But all the bigger grandiose notions of what he was doing for somebody else—nah it was what it always is: He did it for Deion.”
Sanders left Jackson State on Saturday to become the new head coach at Colorado, and he was introduced as their head coach on Sunday. He wasted little time telling his new players to look at the transfer portal because he would bring his own “luggage.”
Sanders did bring attention to HBCU football programs while going 27-5 in three seasons at Jackson State.