*Just when NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders starts building a record of success as head football coach at Jackson State University, some people declare he’s wasting his time and talent in Jackson, Mississippi coaching those Black kids! Instead, they say he should be coaching at his alma mater Florida State University – the big white school!
Jackson State University is a historically black college. In prior interviews Coach Sanders said he took the job as head coach to help bring attention to Black athletes at HBCUs who rarely get an opportunity to showcase their talents, because all the attention and most of the opportunities go to athletes at white schools. I agree with Sanders. Since becoming head coach – this is his second season – the JSU football team has played to record attendances at home games, they were featured on ESPN game nights when they had never before been a major media draw. And his move, I’m sure, inspired HoF running back Eddie George to tackle the head football coaching job at my alma mater, Tennessee State University – another HBCU!
Sanders’ friend, Michael Strahan, also a member of the NFL and black college HoF, partnered with JSU to supply tailored suits for football team to wear on game days.
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Everything is working for JSU right now. But before the team can get its stride some sports analysts are pushing for Coach Prime to leave the predominantely black school and instead, use his influence and coaching talent to help players at the predominately white school, FSU, to win. And it seems the person leading that cheer is sports analyst Booger McFarland. I don’t know why they call him Booger, but it can’t be good.
Anyway, Florida State’s football team is 0-3, the worst start in 45 years! Now Booger is cheerleading for Sanders to replace current FSU football coach Mike Norvell. Apparently McFarland doesn’t care about what Coach Prime is trying to do for black college sports and those deserving athletes who look like McFarland. Yes, McFarland is a Black man! He played football at predominantly white LSU. Apparently he doesn’t see the value of Sanders building the character of Black men at this HBCU as being a more worthy pursuit over helping FSU win games. I bet if it was the other way around – FSU had a winning record and JSU was 0-3, McFarland wouldn’t mention them at all.
Although Sanders might have aspirations to coach Division I football teams, jumping ship now would be a betrayal of the trust he has built between himself, his players and coaching staff and the HBCU community. He should stay at least five seasons, recruit more of his pro athlete friends to coach at HBCUs to bring more recognition to HBCU athletics and continue to prove that Black athletes have the skills to be pro athlete recruits wherever they are. They are the show! Click on the video above to find out details.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her @TCBStef on Instagram and Twitter.