As soon as Deion Sanders accepted the head coaching position at Colorado, critics started coming out of the woodwork chastising him for leaving Jackson State so soon after building them into an FCS power.
Many felt that Deion had broken his promise to JSU as well as HBCUs in general. Others saw it as the latest in a long line of selfish moves that motivated Prime. And while many of his former players understood the situation for what it was, it appears that some of his incoming players are taking him up on his offer to play elsewhere. And to be fair, there have been defenses of Deion in the media as well.
Deion Sanders reacts to the criticism he received for leaving Jackson State pic.twitter.com/eDtc5SFZhC
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) December 20, 2022
Sanders recently sat down with Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe and discussed the criticism that he received over the move. Deion told Sharpe that he understands the situation hurt people and that sometimes we lash out in anger.
“People are hurt,” said Sanders. “And when people are hurt, oftentimes, their first response isn’t the response that should be given. They say things out of emotions and anger, but I listened. Because when a person says stuff, that’s what they really feel. When they’re hurt, and out of emotions and anger. And I just thought to myself, if I didn’t know who I was or where I’m heading and I didn’t know the lord, I would believe some of those things. But I know me. I know my heart. I know my intentions.”
Sanders added that when he took the Jackson State job, his boss asked him to at least stay for two seasons, while he ended up staying for three, as a way to trying to clarify that this was never expected to be a long-term investment.
“I haven’t disclosed this yet. My [Jackson State] AD, Ashley Robinson, when I took the job, he said ‘I want you to do something for me.’ I said ‘What’s that?’ He said ‘At least give me two years.’ I said ‘You got it.'”
In his usual braggadocious way, Sanders also said that part of the reason people are mad is that his team did so well, so fast.
“I understand because it’s love. You fell in love and I fell in love, too. And I felt like we did more than we were expected to do, we just did it so expeditiously that it overwhelmed you and you thought it was easy. Because what would normally take someone several years, we did it in two and a half. That’s what was staggering.”