Photo caption: Deion Sanders (Source: Wikimedia/7 Figure Squad)
Deion Sanders recently sat down with 60 Minutes for the second time in two seasons, something the show says they never do. But Sanders is a special case. What he has done to the college football scene is nothing short of amazing and everyone wants a piece of the action. Some critics of the NFL Hall Of Famer still think he turned his back on Jackson State last season after taking the position at Colorado, but Sanders says that’s just not the truth.
During the interview with 60 Minutes, Jon Wertheim insinuated that Sanders, “abandoned” the mission at Jackson State, but Deion quickly shut that done.
“You left Jackson State and you left quick,” said Wertheim speaking to Sanders.
“I didn’t leave quick. I left when I was supposed to leave,” responded Sanders laughingly. “We finished. Most coaches get a new job and they leave expeditiously. I finished the task.”
Wertheim then asked if there was more Sanders could have done in Jackson and Deion responded, “I think we did a tremendous job in Jackson. I think we laid down a tremendous blueprint.”
When asked about what he told the kids before he left, Sanders responded, “Opportunity called. Sooner or later in life, there will be opportunity that knocks at your door. And at this juncture in my life, I felt like the opportunity for not only me, but for my kids as well, was tremendous. Not only did we take several kids from that team, three trainers, maybe 12 to 14 staffers. So we afforded to give people a tremendous opportunity here.”
Wertheim finished the segment of the interview by saying, “We tried to press Sanders on the circumstances surrounding his abandoning the mission at Jackson State.”
Sanders, a former NFL star, was the head coach at Jackson State University for three years.
“Coach Prime” catapulted Jackson State to success winning two SWAC Championships before leaving for University of Colorado-Boulder.
Beyond the realm of athletics, Deion Sanders’ impact extended to the community surrounding Jackson State University. The Mississippi-based university quickly became a beacon of Black excellence and served as a role model for the importance of HBCU schools and culture in America.
His success at the University of Colorado-Boulder has taken the world by storm. All because of “Coach Prime,” the Buffaloes have started the season 3-0 after only winning one game last year and are ranked 19 in the College Football Top 25 AP rankings.
Whether or not you think Deion made the right move leaving the HBCU Jackson State, you can’t deny the confidence and resilience to succeed.
It’s also disingenuous not to recognize what Deion Sanders did for HBCU football.
He made it a point to engage with local businesses, fans and residents, fostering a sense of unity and shared pride. His philanthropic efforts and dedication to making a positive difference underscored his commitment to leaving a lasting legacy that extended far beyond wins and losses.
Don’t be surprised by his repeated success at Colorado. Sanders is a natural-born winner regardless of what you think of him.
This article originally appeared on NewsOne.