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Deion Sanders, JSU and the HBCU new world order

Deion Sanders, JSU and the HBCU new world order

Deion Sanders, JSU and the HBCU new world order

One of the biggest media news items involving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in recent years was the appointment of Deion Sanders as the head football coach at Jackson State University (JSU).  The main reason behind the news coverage is the notoriety of Sanders, who acquired the nickname of “Primetime” during his years of playing professional football and professional baseball at the same time.

But the question that remains a key point of discussion surrounding the appointment of Coach Prime, (Sanders’s new nickname) is what is he attempting to accomplish by taking this position at JSU? The attached article concludes the main reason behind the move by Sanders is more than to bring greater media exposure to HBCU football, (which he has done), but to provoke change within the HBCU football system.

The impact of the media exposure of HBCU football since the appointment of Deion Sanders to head coach to the Jackson State University Tigers is undeniable.  The impact is best demonstrated by the increased coverage of HBCU football on major media networks like ESPN, including the coverage of HBCU football spring practice session, Jackson State, but for other HBCUs.

When asked by the media if this media exposure is intended to set up the opportunity for a more lucrative coaching position Coach Prime is quick to point out he is using his influence to improve the financial position of the JSU program in order to improve the pay of his staff.  Deion Sanders was successful in using his media notoriety to gain record backing personal financial advantages during his professional sports career.

Another sign of his comment to HBCU football was to bring his two sons to JSU to play football, one at quarterback and the other at safety.  Both sons possess the talent and with their father’s help needed to earn a chance to play college football at the college of their choice.

The impact of provoking change among the HBCUs football system is demonstrated by Coach Prime improvements for the 2021 JSU Tigers football season.  Just over a year after the school made the legendary cornerback a first-time head coach, the Tigers set a program record with 11 wins and captured the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title for the first time since 2007, qualifying for the Celebration Bowl (the HBCU Football Championship) for the first time.

This is the type of performance HBCUs can achieve in other areas like student enrollment, academic accreditation, financial stability, facility, and surrounding community infrastructure improvements.  But to achieve this type of performance requires difficult to change as in the case of JSU, which had to risk hiring a first-time head coach.

The HBCU Community Development Corporation can assist your HBCU in making the difficult changes needed to achieve Coach Prime-type success.  Choosing us to do this work will help you get through the bureaucratic obstacles and lead to the type of media attention required to improve your performance in other areas besides football.

If your HBCU needs assistance getting started contact us at