NFL legend Deion Sanders caused an uproar when he announced he was leaving the Historically Black Jackson State University to accept the head coaching position at the University of Colorado.
In a recent interview with Shannon Sharpe, Sanders once again responded to the backlash surrounding his decision.
Affectionately known as Coach Prime, Sanders revealed he and Jackson State Athletic Director Ashley Robinson agreed to him serving at least two years behind the scenes.
“I haven’t disclosed this yet. My AD, Ashley Robinson, when I took this job, he said, ‘I want you to do something for me.’ I said, what’s that? He said, ‘At least give me two years.’ I said you got it,” Sanders said. “That’s what we discussed.”
Sharpe pointed out Sanders gave Jackson State three years and then asked whether he thought people would still be upset if he’d given the HBCU five or 10 years.
“It ain’t gon’ be enough … and I understand because its love. You fell in love and I fell in love too,” Sanders responded. “I felt like we did more than we were expected to do. We just did it so expeditiously that it overwhelmed you and you thought it was easy because what would normally take someone several years, we did it in two-and-a-half.”
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Sanders made the comments during an exclusive interview with Sharpe on his “Club Shay Shay” show. The episode was released on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The duo had a wide-ranging interview during which Sanders also said he understood why people are hurt about his decision. “When you heard the criticism that was coming that you were leaving, what went through your mind?” Sharpe asked Sanders at one point during the interview.
“Well, people are hurt and when people are hurt, oftentimes, their first response isn’t the response that should be given,” Sanders responded. “They say things out of emotions and anger, but I listen because when a person say stuff that’s what they really feel when they’re hurt.”
He added that his strong grasp on his calling and identity allowed him not to internalize what people were saying about him.
“I just thought to myself, if I didn’t know who I was and where I am headed, and if I didn’t know the Lord, I would believe some of those things,” Sanders continued. “But I know me, I know my heart, I know my intentions off the rip.”
Watch Deion Sanders’ full interview with Shannon Sharpe below:
PHOTO: Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, left, and his son quarterback Shedeur Sanders sing the school’s alma mater after the Celebration Bowl NCAA college football game against North Carolina Central, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)