Deion Sanders made headlines last month after calling out the NFL for its lack of 2021 draft picks selected from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. But instead of just complaining about the matter on social media, the Hall of Famer took matters into his own hands.
Shortly after the draft, Sanders announced that he would be hosting a one-day satellite camp on June 19. The event would allow coaches from around the nation to see some of football’s burgeoning athletes. However, it appears that not everyone is sold on Sanders’ HBCU crusade. Late last month, a podcaster by the name of Wes Bryant called out the Jackson State University coach and the “I Am Athlete” podcast, on which Sanders recently appeared, stating that he found it “hard to believe that you or any of the panel gave an HBCU the time of day when you were getting recruited and wouldn’t now….”
Bryant’s comment appeared to stem from a recent episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast hosted by Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder. Sanders was a guest and discussed the recent draft with the panel. Crowder shared a clip in which he expressed to Sanders that it would be challenging for an HBCU to go up against the “Power 5” in football because of the lack of resources, though Sanders strongly believes otherwise. (The SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC are also known as the “Power 5” and are considered the best college football conferences.)
The former professional athlete caught wind of Bryant’s post and addressed him, warning the producer, “I got time today my brother. How can u tell a man what he would could or should do when u don’t know what makes that man that man,” Sanders asked the North Carolina native. When a fan chimed in, “school is in session,” Bryant replied, “Not really,” telling the Twitter user to “ask Deion why he went to FSU then?” He added, “I’ll wait.”
The 53-year-old showed no signs of backing down as he responded to Bryant, stating, “Because a HBCU never recruited me or most guys that are prominent on high school.” He added, “Why? Ask them but we ain’t scared to recruit anybody and if U allow me in your home in front of your parents or guardians you will play for me @GoJSUTigersFB I’m that CONFIDENT. I got time today.”
Many fans quickly came to Sanders support, including one fan who reminded others to “consider the time that he [Sanders] was coming out of high school. If you think many HBCUs are underfunded now imagine how it was back in the mid to late 80.” That person added, “So it was harder for a FAMU or a Bethune to get out and recruit players the caliber of Coach Prime compared to a FSU or Miami.”
Another person commented, “Why he went to FSU isn’t a factor for me, the fact that he chooses to extend his knowledge and efforts towards the advancement of HBCU football at this juncture of his life is all that matters to me.”
“Love what yall are big dog…somebody somewhere will always find a reason to try and throw shade…yall just keep winning and turning boys into successful MEN,” expressed a third.
Sanders appears to be confident with the upcoming plans he has to shed more light on HBCUs. And for those who doubted whether a school under that umbrella had a chance against the Power 5, Sanders said he’s prepared to change that perception by “bringing in a conduit of change.”