“It’s Just Another Way … To Keep The Schools That Don’t Have The Proper Funding Down” | Deion Sanders Loves NIL But Says It’s Becoming Free Agency

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Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders continues to push the envelope in his efforts to see HBCU programs receive the same respect as Power Five programs. While Sanders is all for the NIL deals and transfer portal, similar to Alabama head coach Nick Saban, he has some qualms about how it’s being utilized.

With no real restrictions or deadlines, players are attacking the portal like Serena Williams attacks the net in tennis, with absolute force. In a recent interview with 247 Sports, Sanders shared the same “pay for play” or free agency sentiments that Saban has constantly expressed.

 “I love for these guys to be able to be paid for their name, image and likeness, but it’s becoming free agency, and if you don’t have it, you’re not going to be able to compete. It’s just another way, to me, to keep schools that don’t have the proper funding down. First of all, I’m not giving a kid nothing like that. I want you to focus on the NFL not NIL. If you ball out, you’ll prepare yourself for the NFL.
 “If you get comfortable and you’ve already got a meal coming, man, c’mon, how hungry are you going to be to go out there and work and go get it? We can’t lose the fact these are young men, they’ve got to stay hungry and invested. When a kids says to me, ‘Coach, how about that paper?’ click.”

Sanders Comments Comes On The Heels Of Some Top Players Jumping In The Portal

The transfer portal is “hot as fish grease,” with more than 2,000 players at one point searching for greener pastures, which in many cases comes with lucrative NIL deals. One player who’s seeking those greener pastures is Pitt Panthers wide receiver Jordan Addison.

The reigning Biletnikoff Award winner (top WR) recently entered the portal, and rumors of a $3 million deal was in place for him to transfer to USC.

While Addison hasn’t made a decision, this is an example of that pay-for-play coaches have been lashing out about. As of now the talented pass catcher is rumored to be in talks with the aforementioned Trojans of USC, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, etc.

And while his dad says this is strictly a move to better prepare him for the NFL, that’s kind of hard to believe after he posted 100 receptions for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns. All from the right arm of Steelers first-round pick Kenny Pickett. That duo led the Panthers to the program’s first ACC championship.

According to The Athletic, Addison’s recently been spotted working out in Southern California with Alabama’s Heisman QB Bryce Young…Interesting.

Texas A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher Chimed In: Many Have Questioned Aggies Historic Class

With the Aggies landing the nation’s top class for the first time, and the best class in the history of the computer-generated rankings, questions lingered as to how they were able to pull it off. It’s not every day that you land eight five-star prospects in one recruiting cycle. For all the top classes Alabama and Georgia have pulled in over the years, they’ve never done that. That got folks wondering how?

And immediately, the newfound legal pay-to-play was brought up. Fisher denied it adamantly, even ranting so much that he helped certain sports sites who covered the situation become even more popular. But in a hope to silence the critics, he’s now saying they need more rules.


In an interview with Houston Touchdown Club, Fisher said, “There has to be some kind of rules and guardrails.”

In the end Deion, Saban and Fisher are correct in many ways, but until rules are etched in stone this will continue to be the norm.