The Lone Colorado University Regent Vote Against Coach Prime Explains Why He Didn’t Keep That Same Energy In Person

Deion Sanders raising season ticket sales at Colorado already
(Getty Images)

Deion Sanders’ move to Boulder to become the next head coach of the University of Colorado at Boulder football team was not a unanimous school decision. One holdout existed on the University of Colorado Board of Regents, who voted almost unanimously to endorse Sanders’s new employment contract last Thursday. The 8-1 vote had one singular dissenter, Jack Kroll.

Kroll The Lone Troll?

Ironically, at Sanders’ initial press conference, Kroll took pictures with him like he co-signed the major acquisition to the school’s athletic program. Now he is telling the story about why his vote didn’t match his enthusiasm when he saw Coach Prime in person.

Kroll revealed his thinking to USA Today Sports.

“I had gone to the press conference to hear what Deion had to say. There is no doubt he is a really charismatic guy, and I had gone with the intent to hear him and see if I could get behind him and support him,” Kroll said to USA Today Sports.

“I wanted to go shake his hand, and so I shook his hand and wished him luck because I figured whether I vote yes or no on this, he’s still going to be the football coach. I shook his hand, and there was a photo. I wished him luck.”

So why did Kroll vote against Coach Prime’s hiring? After all, Sanders is a prominent upgrade to a program at the bottom of the Pac-12 Division with a 1-8 record. It turns out he believes the gospel of Coach Prime and the collegiate athletics system in general is not a stable model. Kroll laid out his three reasons to vote against Coach Prime and all of them seem more systemic than Deion-related.

Potential Primetime Problems

Kroll believes that the price tag for Sanders is too rich for Colorado’s blood. The coach signed a five-year deal worth $5.5 million a year, and CU has never spent that kind of money on coaching talent. The school has only had two winning seasons in the past 17 years. The last one was in 2016 when then-coach Mike MacIntyre led the team to a 10-4 season.

The salary is much less than other Division I coaches at other schools.

Additionally, the Pac-12 is engaged in an ongoing proceeding with the National Labor Relations Board by the National College Players Association, which wants to designate NCAA athletes as employees. As the case picks up steam and is swaying in favor of the athletes, Kroll believes the addition of the labor expense will hurt the school’s budget.

Last, the concussion issues surrounding the game of football concern Kroll, and he felt that the school could use the money reserved for Deion on other university pursuits like research laboratories or residence halls.

“If I were able to just wear my fan hat here, it’s exciting,” Kroll continued. “But I think as a fiduciary for the university, I’ve got to see a bigger picture, and yeah, I get blowback and angry voicemails. I don’t check Twitter. It’s OK. They’re entitled to their thoughts and passions on these things.

“In the short run, it’s a really exciting time for the university to bring in a guy like Deion Sanders, and people are pumped up about it. Anyone who stands in that way is going to hear about it.”

A regent is a member of the governing board of a state university or a state educational system that exercises general supervision over the conduct and welfare of the students. Kroll has a six-year term that will end soon, and he did not seek reelection. Although Kroll makes valid points that keep the school’s fiscal responsibility in mind, the school has already seen an uptick in revenue and popularity from Sanders’s arrival. The Prime Effect wins again.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.