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Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders opens up about NIL

Deion Sanders
Photo credit: Jackson State Athletics

Deion ‘Primetime’ Sanders has become one of the hottest names in all of college football. The Jackson State head coach has worked wonders and put HBCU programs on the map at the same time.

With the NIL landscape becoming more and more prevalent across all of college sports, Sanders was asked how he feels about it, and he seems to have mixed feelings with the new direction of the industry (h/t Nick Kosko of 247Sports).

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“I like it. 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 the 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 the NIL. If you ball out, you’ll prepare yourself for the NFL…We can’t lose the fact these are young men, they’ve got to stay hungry and invested.”

Sanders has seen the NIL scope firsthand despite being at Jackson State. This past offseason, five-star commit Travis Hunter flipped from Florida State to Jackson State in a stunning development. Then, Hunter inked an NIL deal with Greenwood, a digital banking company

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However, Sanders also mentioned that the player should examine the team itself instead of immediately jumping at the money:

“First of all, if he’s been offered two million dollars, that means they got it. That’s not the kid’s fault whatsoever. But he should be looking at, ‘Where is this going to take me? Is the quarterback there? Is the system there? Is the environment there? Am I going to be happy?’ You can be rich and very unhappy. I’ve been that before. That young man has to understand the complexity of the whole package.”

Sanders might need to get more familiar with NIL deals, especially with his name being tied to some Power Five jobs.