Legendary athlete, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and head football coach at Jackson State University Deion Sanders Sr. was at the XFL HBCU Showcase over the weekend. As was his son, former special teams returner and wide receiver at Southern Methodist University Deion Sanders Jr.
During a moment before all the activity, Coach Prime was having a good-natured laugh about his son’s multiple talents.
“I’ve never seen a cameraman with a cameraman,” Sanders Sr. said. “Dog, who do that? Where they do that at? Dog, the cameraman got a cameraman.”
Deion Sanders makes fun of Deion Jr at XFL SHOWCASE https://t.co/zLAVsDzBx4
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) July 18, 2022
Prime was laughing the whole time and being affectionate with his son, so it was all in good fun. Sanders Jr. even replied with an “I learned from the best. I’m just trying to be great.”
It can be tough following in the footsteps of a father as accomplished as Prime. A three-sport Division I athlete at Florida State in football, baseball, and track. Talk about multitalented.
He helped all three teams win conference titles during his time as a Seminole. Prime was a three-time football All-American and winner of the Jim Thorpe Award.
In the NFL he was an eight-time All-Pro, two-time Super Bowl champ, and Defensive Player of the Year.
He played nine part-time seasons in Major League Baseball. In 1992, his best season, as a member of the Atlanta Braves Prime hit .304, stole 26 bases, and led the NL with 14 triples in 97 games. In four games of the 1992 World Series, Sanders batted .533 with four runs, eight hits, two doubles, and one RBI while playing with a broken bone in his foot.
To do that as a part-time player is one of the more incredible sports accomplishments in history.
These days, Prime is focused on his work as head coach at JSU. He’s hoping to bring more awareness to HBCUs through athletics. He’s had success early, winning the SWAC title in just his second season at the helm.
Currently, the JSU football facilities are undergoing renovations and Prime is hoping they’ll be ready in time for the season. He’s even donating some of his salary to ensure that the renovations are completed in time.
“I’ll put more than that on it. I’ll put half on it to get this done,” Sanders said. “If you don’t believe me, check me. I will send you the receipts.”
Sanders signed a four-year deal worth $1.2 million over three years in 2020. He’s also made a ton from endorsements, his work as a broadcaster, motivational speaker, etc. So the donation of salary won’t hurt, but it’s still a great gesture.
The fact that Sanders has to even consider donating his own salary points to the tragic situation of HBCUs and how severely underfunded they are in all areas.
Still, a swanky updated facility, more wins, bowl appearances, and championships means bigger eyeballs and more dollars headed to Jackson State, eventually. A steady flow of cash won’t only benefit athletics, but academics as well.
Sanders’ target date for completion is Aug. 4. Jackson State will open the season against Florida A&M on Sept. 4 in Miami.