Deion Sanders promised a response to Nick Saban, and he’s given several in the days since the Alabama coach threw out an accusation of Jackson State paying players.
Sanders spoke to I AM ATHLETE podcast on Thursday evening and was his typical, candid self. When asked by crew what stung him the most about Saban’s comments, Sanders didn’t hold back.
“The thing that stung was that — so you feel like it’s no connectivity to the culture and our people — that the only way we could do that is we pay them?” Sanders asked rhetorically. “So it’s no way that I can secure a Power Five caliber player? He said a D1 player, a D1 caliber player or something of that nature, he said, like a D1 caliber player or something of that nature that he said — like he chose something less to participate in over what they can offer.
“So 14 years in the NFL at a certain level don’t qualify me?” Sanders continued? “So being in the Hall of Fame don’t qualify me? So being a father of five — a ‘there’ father of five — don’t qualify me? Being an HBCU football coach and winning don’t qualify me? Just being a real person and there for my family, friends and love ones and whoever else don’t qualify me?”
When asked if he was bigger than a coach, Deion Sanders pondered the question and said that he’s much more than just a coach.
“As I blow that whistle and we end practice, I become Tyler Perry,” Sanders said. “I gotta write the play, produce the pay, pay for the play, edit the play, cut the play, choose the people in the play — I gotta do a multiplicity of things. I love it. I’m not going to say I don’t love it because I enjoy every minute of it. But it’s so much more than coaching.”
As he did in his interview earlier in the day, Sanders acknowledged that he, Travis Hunter and JSU weren’t really who Saban was going after. He said Saban, who says he’s reached out to apologize to him, was really going after Jimbo Fisher. Even in acknowledging that, Deion Sanders managed to step into the spotlight and keep folks taking about Jackson State.