If there’s one thing no one can ever doubt about Deion Sanders, it’s his passion for mentoring. Sanders constantly lends a listening ear, gives motivational advice and drives children to thrive and succeed. He sponsors, teaches, and promotes young people relentlessly, something that is traced so long ago that he helped Dez Bryant when he was in Oklahoma State.
Jackson State University, which hired Sanders as head coach this week, that his affinity for helping young people leads to a boom for the proud program. Jackson State plays in SWAC, boasts Walter Payton as his most outstanding athletic alum and has catapulted over the past week from a reflection in football to the conversation front. We’ll see if it’s a good thing. “Data-reactid =” 17 “> And it is the hope of FCS Jackson State University, who hired Sanders as head coach this week, that his affinity for helping young people leads to a boom for the proud program. Jackson State plays in SWAC, boasts with Walter Payton as his most outstanding athletic alum and has catapulted the past week from a reflection in football to the conversation front, we’ll see if it’s a good thing.
Sanders arrived at his press conference in Jackson State as you’d expect, a parade of sirens, the band playing at full pitch and a sponsored Cadillac with Coach Prime in the back. “God called me to Jackson State,” Sanders said. “Data-reactid =” 22 “> Sanders arrived at his expected press conference in Jackson State, a parade of sirens, the band playing at full pitch and a sponsored Cadillac with Coach Prime in the back.” God called me to Jackson State , ”Said Sanders.
The arrival of Sanders, who was an offensive high school coordinator for his son’s team this season, also comes with a warning story. The last time Sanders lent his name to a high-profile company affiliated with a school, it ended nasty.
Sanders founded Prime Prep back in 2012. And it closed in the middle of the school year in January 2015 in the midst of a hailstorm of controversy, lawsuits and mockery from the training room.
It is difficult to exaggerate what a complete, insignificant and overrated mess Prime Prep became. It left a trail of angry parents, unpaid bills, countless lawsuits, broken promises and the rare educational hatred trick of local, state and federal investigations. While Sanders was not a principal or principal, he lent his name and star power, which led to a review that the school could not maintain.
It’s unfair to say that Sanders coach at Jackson State will be a mess because of what was developed at Prime Prep. But it is also fair to say that Jackson State better not take for granted that Sanders will have all the details covered.
“I would be less worried about them because he’s in the industry he knows best as a football coach,” said Michael Soto, vice president of academic affairs and professor of English at Trinity University in San Antonio. “I just hope they are willing to support him with the day – to – day running of a football program off the pitch.”
Soto saw first and foremost the unusual tension that can arise when Sanders lends his celebrity to one thing. He was on the Texas State Board of Education when Prime Prep applied for a charter in September 2011. He was one of the few dissidents who voted against it when the charter passed. He recalled in a telephone interview with Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that board members asked Sanders for his autograph and photos at the hearing.
Sanders was fired and hired twice from the school, quoted for assault and treated journalists who looked into the school as if they were invisible. “data-reactid =” 49 “> The only positive thing that developed after their approval, in retrospect, was the feed that Prime Prep gave to local investigative journalists. at school as if they were invisible.
A thorough report here from the Dallas Morning Newsand was prepared to clear away some time.) “data-reactid =” 50 “> It had all the ingredients – a high-profile founder, a complete lack of competent infrastructure and enough lawsuits to make Judge Judy blush. A thorough account is here from the Dallas Morning News and was prepared to clear away for a while.)
When it came to Prime Prep, Sanders was high on publicity and low responsibility. A general theme of disrespect for protocol and authority arose, including rejecting the correct account of Prime Prep’s passing. “That’s the dumbest thing I’re heard all year,” he texted at one point in the Dallas Morning News.
Prime Prep told The New York Times: “High school was chaos. Academics did not even play other fouls. “” Data-reactid = “56”> A former CEO of Prime Prep told The New York Times: “High school was chaos. Academics did not even play another violin. ”
Sanders was not responsible for the day-to-day operations of Prime Prep, but he fought for its charter, lent his name to it and trained. Soto saw everything coming from a country away.
“The people who put it together had very little experience of education, let alone a very regulated public school environment,” he said. Deion was brought in for glamor and glitter. He is the only reason why the application was even heard. And he is really the main reason why the government approved the charter. ”
The same name, smile and charisma are the main reasons why Sanders is the head coach of Jackson State. Sanders gives the Hall of Fame to play credentials and is still in the highest percentage of the highest percentage of the most recognized athletes in America.
But he is also generally underqualified for being a college coach, and there are already many in the college room who are curious about what he will do in a place that is generally not resourceful. (Sanders was reportedly involved in searches in Arkansas and Florida State last year.)
The advertising is coming and the recruits are likely to follow. But will a solid program be built?
Quincy Avery, a former Morehouse player and a highly regarded quarterback coach, said he was unsure if Sanders knew what he was signing up for. Sanders played the great power Florida State, which operates in a different universe than Jackson State.
“Budget and budget issues that will come up,” Avery said when asked what will surprise Sanders the most. “He thinks college football is a way. Black college football is actually another. ”
Avery said that if he had a player he trained to choose between Jackson State and a teammate like Tennessee State, he would ask them to choose Tennessee State. He said Jackson State “reached for attention” when he hired Sanders and is skeptical of the results.
“I don’t think he understands the level of detail needed to coach at that level,” Avery said. “It’s just so much deeper than trying to talk to children. It is detailed work when it comes to game planning, preparation and scouting. ”
Prime Prep also had a high-profile basketball component when it existed from 2012 to 2015. Emmanuel Mudiay, who finished 7th in the NBA Draft, played there as did a host of others who went to college basketball. The school struggled with NCAA qualification issues and a board member of Prime Prep told The New York Times that it was “common knowledge that athletes received the grades they needed to maintain their qualifications,” the paper reported.
ESPN basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla lives in Dallas and keeps track of the recruiting world. He admired the ethos that Sanders brought to Prime Prep. “I do not struggle with the idea that he helped young people,” Fraschilla said.
But he added a cautionary note to Jackson State that if Sanders runs the 30,000-foot program, assistant coaches and staff will have to deal with things on the ground. “Make sure you have the buses around you that handle the daily details,” Fraschilla said.
If you do not, the filthy details will be magnified. It’s the blessing and the curse of Prime Time that Sanders’ failed preschool venture showed – everyone is watching.
All eyes are now on you, Jackson State.