Coach Prime accused of using HBCUs for his own gain before Colorado football hire

Coach Prime was accused by several HBCU coaches of using Black college football for his own personal gain before his Colorado football hiring.

Jackson State v Alabama State
Jackson State v Alabama State / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

Andscape's William C. Rhoden spoke to several HBCU coaches during the Celebration Bowl on December 16, which was won by Florida A&M in a 30-26 back-and-forth instant classic with Howard, and the consensus was allegedly that Coach Prime used Black college football for his own personal gain before moving onto Colorado football.

"While Sanders attracted national media attention — including a 60 Minutes interview – I never got the sense the media that flocked to him really understood the HBCU experience," Rhoden prefaced before saying, "I’m not sure he ever completely got the experience either – he didn’t stay long enough to really get it. Just before last year’s Celebration Bowl, Sanders announced he was leaving Jackson State for Colorado.

"As I spoke with coaches and conference commissioners this weekend, the consensus was he had used Black college football for his personal gain, but bottom line: Black college football was and always will be."

Coach Prime on why he left Jackson State to become head Colorado football coach

There will always be those who feel Coach Prime made a mistake by leaving Jackson State for Colorado, but according to Deion Sanders, he made his decision based on his own ambition and the lack of vision he saw from JSU.

“It was the ideology, the thought process, the forward thinking," Sanders told hosts Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor and Ryan Clark on March 7 (h/t Mississippi Clarion Ledger). "It was meeting me at the crossroad. That’s what was involved in that.

"And sooner or later you have to look in the mirror and say, are they going to get there? 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.”

Unfortunately, there will never be a clear one-size-fits-all answer on if Sanders made a mistake leaving JSU after three seasons, and only two proper ones.