The conversation came on the heels of Sanders’ criticism of preparing for week one of the season only to find out several athletes were ineligible to play due to academic benchmarks.
“How in the world does that happen?” Sanders asked. “That doesn’t happen in Power Fives, because I called them to check. But how is that happening to us?”
See the full conversation in Part Six of Thee Pregame Show’s ongoing exclusive series here:
It’s About the Kids
“We need to do a better job inside the HBCU family walls,” Sanders said. “We got to do a better job of so many different things.”
After the dismal discovery of ineligible players, Sanders began phoning neighboring HBCU coaches. Several schools were in the same boat.
“That means we got some lazy folks in certain positions,” Sanders said. “They need to get up and do their own jobs. That bothers me because the kids suffer.”
Somebody Has to Call it Out
Charles Bishop questioned how the status quo could be changed.
“It’s systemic,” Sanders said. “Somebody got to call it out, put their hand on it, put their finger on it and get rid of it. You can get mad at me all you want for calling the spade a spade, but a spade is a spade. You’ve got to understand that it affects the kids. It ain’t about you, it ain’t about me, it’s about these kids.”
Sanders added that several mishaps occur in the management of academics and housing that negatively impact student-athletes, and these instances largely go unacknowledged.
“It heats me up because we got to be about these kids man,” he said. “When I go off, it’s about the kids. If they’re not eating right, if the housing is incorrect, we got to do that. We got to do that.”