ESPN anchor sends strong message on Colorado football HC Deion Sanders' behavior toward other teams' players on X

Colorado Spring Football Game
Colorado Spring Football Game / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

ESPN's Scott Van Pelt addressed Colorado football head coach Deion Sanders' recent social media behavior -- most notably, Coach Prime seeming to agree with a Buffs fan belittling Austin Peay DB Jaheim Ward's stats after Ward defended his teammate Xavier Smith, one of the players who spoke out against Sanders to The Athletic's Max Olson -- with a mixture of disapproval and empathy.

“It’s just the tone of the comments in response that feels so small. The mean-spiritedness of it all,” Van Pelt said (h/t AthlonSports). “As a guy who used to have to endure segments on radio, where we recounted my Twitter beefs, I understand how difficult it is to do what people suggest those in the public eye should do: just ignore the noise. Sometimes it’s hard, though, to hold your tongue. However, as the leader of a program looking to ascend, I don’t think that any of this serves to elevate."

Sanders also belittled a fan who said that Shedeur Sanders isn't a top-five pick by insinuating that the poster's son wasn't going anywhere. Deion did a lot of punching down, and while the idea that he can't respond just because of his status is incorrect, he must understand that his actions become major distractions if he's not acting like a typical college football coach.

Deion Sanders isn't looking to be normal coach of Colorado football

Maybe that's the point, though.

Sanders took a job that required a good bit of legwork to revive the program he's now in charge of. Colorado hasn't been a recruiting hotbed for decades, and the Buffs have years of futility to overcome from a narrative perspective.

Coach Prime's brand has always been about pomp and pageantry, and as head coach of the Buffs, he's not shying away from having his name, and by extension the University of Colorado, in the headlines.

Certain players will respond well to that and want to thrive in the "Prime Time" glow. If enough top recruits do that, CU will have raised its ceiling to heights previously unimaginable and all it would've taken was some Twitter spats that will be out of the news cycle in a week's time or less.