Upon some reflection, Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders doesn’t think that comments made by Nick Saban — which questioned how Sanders and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher landed star recruits — were really about them. No, Sanders thinks that the Alabama coach was really talking to his own boosters.

Sanders, speaking on the I Am Athlete nightly show on Mad Dog Radio on Sirius XM, said, amongst other things, that Saban used Sanders and Fisher as “pawns,” and that Saban was a spokesman for the Power 5 schools and Predominantly White Institutions.

A lot of people, including but not limited to former NFL quarterback Jim Everett, agreed with Sanders’ comments.

Sanders is probably onto something here. Saban is a longtime coach and one of the most successful in the history of his, or any other, sport. A big part of coaching is angling in public. (And these specific original comments were at an event for the 50-day countdown to the World Games in Birmingham, so that involves at least potential Alabama boosters.)

Coaches tend to be public about their issues. In theory, it’s not that much different than talking about how an upcoming opponent or team gets away with certain penalties or fouls. Coaches make comments like that all the time. This situation is obviously a lot more nuanced and, rightfully, gets people’s attention a lot more than talking about calls does. But it really comes down to the same basic theory.

Sanders added (H/T Mike Rodak, AL.com) that he doesn’t hold a grudge against Saban and that “I’m not going to put him a category just because he had a bad moment.”

And while that’s a commendable attitude, something tells us that we’re not done hearing about this situation.


About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.