Deion Sanders and Alabama head coach Nick Saban have found themselves tied together several times in the last year. First, there was the infamous 2021 SWAC Media Day mention, which was quickly followed up by a Coach Prime and Coach Saban commercial for AFLAC. Things got off on a bad note earlier this summer when Saban accused Jackson State of paying for a five-star prospect (Travis Hunter), before the two got in front of the AFLAC cameras again for another commercial earlier this month.
Sanders was asked about playing Saban’s team at Thursday’s SWAC Media Day session. As usual, Coach Prime kept it candid.
“He’s not going to play us right now,” Sanders told the media in Birmingham. “We’re not ready for that. We’re not into sacrificing our kids for a check.”
For now, at least.
“He’s gotta give me another year,” Sanders continued. “I gotta beef up in the front. The difference of Power Fives and HBCUs right now are those big guys in the middle. It’s not the quarterbacks, the receivers or the DBs or the skill positions. It’s those dogs up front.”
Like pretty much everything else, Deion Sanders has made his feelings about “money games” against Power Five opponents known several times. He’s not interested in taking a potential bloodbath against one of college football’s top programs for a check.
Nick Saban was asked earlier this week at SEC Media Day if his Alabama squad would play an HBCU for the first time in its history. He said he’d be open to the idea, although it would likely be an in-state school.
“I think I certainly can see,” Saban said. “We’ve tried to be very supportive. Miss Terry is on the Board of Trustees at Stillman College. I’ve always been an advocate of playing in-state schools because I think it sort of helps them raise their level and their ability to compete, which obviously if you do that, you also contribute to how successful the players in those organizations can be, So I would be very much in favor of that.”
While Sanders was serious in his answer on media day, he got some pushback from a prominent HBCU graduate and former congressman in Bakari Sellers.
Sellers trolled Sanders and his program by bringing up their loss to South Carolina State, his hometown HBCU, in the Celebration Bowl.
“Why folks talking to @DeionSanders and @GoJSUTigersFB about Alabama, when last time they stepped in field they got mollywhopped, he got outcoached, and the QB was seeing ghosts,” Sellers tweeted. “They got destroyed by @SCSTATE1896 (and lost halftime). Alabama?!?! It better be UAB.”
Sanders had his trigger finger ready and quickly fired back.
“I prefer @dolcegabbana cologne and u should try it because all that hate got u smelling like ……….Hate,” Sanders tweeted with a bevy of smiles. “Thanks for the focus and the mentions. It blows us up even more.” @GoJSUTigersFB“
For the record, Bakari Sellers went to Morehouse College. He’s also a South Carolina State athletics booster.