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Deion Sanders on NIL: ‘I want these kids to start back focusing on the NFL’

Photo credit: HBCU Sports

Pro Football Hall of Famer and current Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders often makes it clear how he feels about a particular subject matter – the NIL topic is no different.

During a recent interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter”, Sanders said that it would be tough for an HBCU school to compete with Power 5 programs because they don’t have the help from an NIL collective, which is serving as a recruiting tactic to lure players to specific schools.

“We don’t have anything like that,” Sanders explained. “We are trying to rally up boosters when you talk about collecting something. We don’t know the definition of a ‘collectives.’”

Sanders made it clear that he is happy college athletes are getting compensated, but players who choose to hear him out about joining Jackson State for football should be more focused on bigger and better things.

“I want these kids to start back focusing on the NFL and not NIL,” Sanders said. “Now you have kids not even thinking about the wonderful job coach Nick Saban has done, and the track record he has accumulated. Or the position coach, or does his scheme fit him? Kids are thinking about NIL. … That is not the way to attack this thing, the NFL is the thing that is going to sustain you and maintain you, not the NIL.”

The average NFL career typically lasts just over three years, according to the data website Statista. Hence why Sanders isn’t totally against NIL because it gives young athletes an opportunity to make money during their collegiate years. With that said, Sanders makes it clear that he wants his players to focus on playing professional football.