When Deion Sanders arrived at Jackson State, the school’s athletics facilities were run down, and it didn’t seem as if there was any real push to have them renovated. Since day one Sanders has made it his goal to upgrade the football facilities, which includes a new synthetic turf practice field, locker rooms and meeting spaces within the facility. From the pictures that have been released, the work looks amazing, but the job needs some funding to be completed.
In a video posted to Instagram this week, Sanders mentions that the job can be finished if he’s willing to donate 25 percent of his coach’s salary. In typical Sanders “go big or go home” fashion, he upped the ante, offering half of his salary.
“I’ll put more than that on it to get this done for these kids. I’ll put half on it to get this done. If you don’t believe me, check me. I will send you the receipts,” Sanders said.
Sanders signed a four-year, $1.2 million deal to become the Tigers head coach in 2020. That’s an average of $300K per year. During his illustrious NFL Hall of Fame career, Sanders pulled in $60 million. He’s also earned tens of millions from his many different endorsements deals. So, Coach Prime’s in a position to fund his own mission.
PRIME TIME gets it baby / @DeionSanders is ALL about making sure his players r treated 1st class in every way . @JacksonStateU via @ESPN App He has the 3 E’s of Life-ENTHUSIASM – ENERGY-EXCITEMENT daily which helps lead you to SUCCESS ! https://t.co/xAFM2TbdBT
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 19, 2022
Could Facilities Upgrade Lead To FBS Move?
Jackson State currently plays in the SWAC and competes nationally in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). But with all the realignment taking place in college football, could a jump to FBS be in the near future? Upgrading the facilities is a start and it’s well-documented that Sanders wants a new on-campus stadium, instead of having to travel off-campus to play at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
There’s also the allure of keeping Sanders around for the long haul, and some believe in order to do that, they’ll need to go to the FBS level.
247Sports reporter Carl Reed postulated this month on the “The Block” podcast that Power Five teams won’t stop coming after Sanders as he continues to build the JSU program into a powerhouse. A move to the FBS level would only enhance the Tigers’ chances of keeping the 2021 Eddie Robinson Award winner.
“Deion Sanders has gotten interest from other schools,” Reed said on July 11. “There were real meetings between him and TCU last hiring season. There is a real interest from some of the powers that be at Georgia Tech. Obviously, there’s a Florida State connection. But I have it on firm authority, by sources close to the program, Deion Sanders does not want to leave Jackson State. He wants to stay at Jackson State and build it into something bigger than life. But that is going to cause Jackson State to have to be willing to go Division I.”
“You have Deion Sanders, you’ve made an extremely bold hire in bringing him down to Jackson, Mississippi,” Reed continued. “You have to give him the latitude to use who he is and the resources he has to secure the funding to get Jackson State to the Division I level.”
— Kimball Knights Football🏈 (@StillKimball) July 16, 2022
Jackson State Looking To Repeat As SWAC Champions: Win Celebration Bowl This Time Around
The 2021 season JSU season was like a movie as the team went 11-1, winning the SWAC championship in Sanders’ first full season after the 2020 season was reduced to seven spring games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the program’s first SWAC title since 2007.
— COACHCHANEY.COM (@coachchaney96) July 14, 2022
If they have any hopes of avenging that Celebration Bowl loss to South Carolina State, they’ll need to beat SWAC rival FAMU in the season opener in the Orange Blossom Classic. The winner of that game will put itself in line to represent the SWAC in the 2022 Celebration Bowl.