The ink on the contract of new Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders is finally dry after the University of Colorado Board of Regents approved the Pro Football Hall of Famer’s deal with an 8-1 vote.
The move comes just weeks after athletics director Rick George made the announcement that they didn’t have the money to pay Sanders and his staff at the time of his hiring.
How Much Is Deion Sanders’ Colorado Contract Worth?
At Sanders introductory presser, George told reporters this:
“We don’t have the money yet, but I know we’ll have it so I’m not worried about that piece.”
That proclamation came to fruition this week as the five-year, $29.5M deal was approved despite one regent not agreeing to the mammoth deal.
“I believe Deion can win a championship at Colorado in 4-5 years” – Skip Bayless
— Barstool Colorado (@CUBarstool) December 23, 2022
How Come One Colorado Regent Didn’t Approve Deion’s Contract?
Outgoing regent Jack Kroll was the only one who didn’t agree to Sanders’ deal, and expressed his reasoning during the vote.
“While I commend the choice of our third Black head coach in a row and fourth overall, the system still thrives on the back of unpaid labor, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before athletes again gain recognition as employees, which will further challenge the sustainability of the financial model.”
Another regent, Glen Gallegos voted in favor of the contract, but also expressed some concerns, mainly fatigue with the school’s pattern for hiring and firing head football coaches.
“This is my fifth football coach, and an athletic director left without pay. Somewhere along the line, we have to stop this pattern we’re in. Somewhere along the line, we have to stop this. We have to start making people accountable for the choices that we’ve made.”
Colorado History Of Bad Coaching Hires?
Gallegos is basically calling out the bad hires that have left the school mired in paying coaches and their staffs after firing. It’s not a model that is sustainable, and while he may be OK with the Coach Prime hiring, he’s also thinking of how far the school is set back if Coach Prime fails. What happens then?
Travis Hunter has revealed that FSU “called” him before he even hit the transfer portal.
The former Jackson State CB announced his transfer commitment to Colorado and Coach Deion Sanders yesterday 👀 pic.twitter.com/i2oZIrOJQH
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) December 23, 2022
Deion Sanders’ Deal Is Largest Ever For A Colorado Head Coach
Sanders deal is the largest ever for a head coach at Colorado. The charismatic Sanders has been seen telling the entire college world:
“I’m coming. We’re coming.”
At every opportunity, and with good reason, as he landed the 29th-ranked recruiting class during the early signing period. And that was done on basically two weekends of work.
But for the Buffaloes, who have had two of their past three coaches receive buyouts to leave, this move was met with a bit of pessimism. In fact, the aforementioned Kroll talked about that in his comments. He said back in 2017 there was pressure to sign then head coach Mike MacIntyre to an extension after he posted a 10-4 season, just the second winning season in 17 years. That ended badly, as MacIntyre was fired a 18 months later and paid a $7.2M buyout.
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) December 22, 2022
Valid reasons, but MacIntyre and the recently fired Karl Dorrell don’t have the brand cachet or ability to connect with recruits like Sanders. And in this sport it’s about recruiting at a high level. Something Sanders has already proved he can do with the best of them.