Thursday, June 13, 2024

Deion Sanders is Sports Illustrated’s 2023 Sportsperson of the Year – But There’s Pushback | WATCH

*On Thursday (11-30-23), Sports Illustrated (SI) revealed Deion Sanders, the University of Colorado Buffaloes head football coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer, as the 2023 Sportsperson of the Year.

Sanders’s blend of unparalleled athletic accomplishments and transformative impact on the football program, school, and community of Boulder transcends sports and ripples throughout the culture.

Over the past year, “Coach Prime” rebuilt Colorado, turning a team that won one game in 2022 into one of the country’s most popular programs and biggest audience draws. Online team store sales have skyrocketed, and every home game at Folsom Field saw a sold-out crowd for the first time in school history, boasting record-setting viewership.

Off the field, the Prime Effect was felt in the Colorado admissions office—first-year, Black, and nonresident applications have all surged at the school—and in the Boulder community, where football success has sparked an economic boom for local businesses.

Deion Sanders - Sports Illustrated screenshot
Deion Sanders – Sports Illustrated screenshot

The strides made in Boulder alone don’t fully explain why Sanders is SI’s 2023 Sportsperson of the Year. According to SI senior writer Pat Forde, his use of the transfer portal, his recruiting prowess and his embrace of NIL opportunities for his players are all changing the paradigm of what it takes to build a national-profile college football program. The Sanders journey is just beginning to remake the college football landscape.

“Deion Sanders dominated the sports conversation in 2023 as a transformative figure not just in Colorado, but for the entire realm of college sports,” said Stephen Cannella, editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated. “On and off the field, he represents a new model for the modern college coach. The Sportsperson of the Year honor, a distinction for some of the most legendary figures in sports over the past seven decades, is now enriched by the addition of Deion to its roster.”

The annual Sportsperson of the Year Issue goes on sale Thursday, December 14 with pre-sale orders available now. On the evening of Wednesday, December 6, SI will honor Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders with the 2023 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award, alongside the season two world premiere screening of Coach Prime on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. The hit docuseries from SMAC Productions transports fans inside the locker room and onto the field for the 2023 season and premieres on Prime Video on December 7.

Deion Sanders - Sports Illustrated cover (via SI)
Deion Sanders – Sports Illustrated cover (via SI)

On the SI Cover
Going back to November 1989, Sanders has headlined six previous Sports Illustrated cover stories. This time around, SI details how Sanders has brought new life to the Colorado campus and helped transform a community. Among the entourage joining Sanders on this year’s Sportsperson of the Year cover are the University of Colorado Chancellor Philip DiStefano, Athletic Director Rick George, 99-year-old superfan Peggy Coppom, Sanders’s children Deion Jr., Shedeur, Shelomi, and Shilo, longtime manager and SMAC Entertainment Co-founder/CEO Constance Schwartz-Morini, trusted advisors Ray Forsett and Sam Morini, and a crowd of dedicated Buffs fans.

Since the inception of Sports Illustrated in 1954, the SI Sportsperson of the Year award has recognized an athlete, coach or team who best represents the spirit and ideals of sportsmanship, character and performance. Recent honorees include Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and LeBron James. Sanders is just the seventh coach to receive the honor, joining legendary leaders Pat Summit, Mike Krzyzewski, Don Shula, Dean Smith, and John Wooden.

Not Everyone Agrees
Needless to say, not everyone is feeling the same love for Sanders that SI is giving. In fact, some are not thrilled with the magazine for not only its Sanders decision, but because the publication was busted days earlier for posting AI-generated articles with bylines of authors that don’t even exist.

Welp, you guessed it, internet haters wasted no time going after Sports Illustrated have it. And you know they had AI jokes. Check out some tweets below.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Coach Deion Sanders Wants His Players Reimbursed for Rose Bowl Robbery | WATCH

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