Deion Sanders offers a new take on why he left Jackson State football for Colorado

·3 min read

Colorado football coach Deion Sanders told The Pivot Podcast that resources wasn't the only the reason he left Jackson State.

“It was the ideology, the thought process, the forward thinking," Sanders told hosts Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor and Ryan Clark on March 7. "It was meeting me at the crossroad. That’s what was involved in that."

Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback coached Jackson State for three years. He became a hot coaching commodity last season after leading JSU to an undefeated regular season. The Tigers won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship again and played in the Cricket Celebration Bowl losing to North Carolina Central 41-34 in overtime.

Sanders' main concern during his tenure at Jackson State was the stability of his assistant coaches and support staff. Sanders was concerned about the business model of HBCUs and how they operated. That was one of the reasons he felt going to a Power Five school would benefit not only him but his staff.

"And sooner or later you have to look in the mirror and say, are they going to get there?" said Sanders. "Do they even want to get there? And I had to ask those questions and really be honest with them, with me and myself as well as my staff. The Bible says, 'Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.' They can’t be comforted making $60,000 the rest of their lives, or $70,000. Not that that is bad. For everybody making $50,000-$60,000, I apologize. I don’t mean to demean you. But as a college football coach, that’s not good and we have to do better than that.”

Sanders also said leaving Jackson State was never about finances. He added, he did not go to Jackson State for money, and he did not leave to chase it. He was there because it was a calling.

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"It seems hilarious to me that God could call me collect to come to Jackson,” Sanders said, “but he could not call me collect to go. See, that is the problem with us men, sometimes we out stay our time at certain places and certain things because we want to leave when we want to leave, not when we need to leave.”

Sanders said that he heard the voice of God when he was at a restaurant with assistant coach Andre Hart. Sanders told Hart, who would later join him at Colorado, “It’s time dog.”

Sanders then called Colorado athletic director Rick George, and said, “I’m coming.”

Sanders takes over a program that was 1-11 last season. He has generated so much excitement, that Colorado's spring game has been sold out and will be televised on ESPN on April 22 at 2 p.m. CT.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Deion Sanders has a new take on why he left Jackson State football