No one has mastered the art of talking without saying anything like coaches. It’s called “coach speak.” Deion Sanders, however, is his own man. Instead of saying as little as possible, he always seems to find a way to say too much — even when it contradicts things he’s said in the past.
During his playing days, you could always count on Sanders to give you a juicy quote or a soundbite. The same was true when he transitioned to TV. That skill has followed him to the coaching world where his latest quote refutes things he’s been saying since he showed up at Jackson State.
“I interviewed for three Power Five jobs. I should’ve got them,” Sanders bragged to Dan Le Batard on his show last week. “I was very, very, very good I may say in the interviews. In one of the interviews, I was so darn good, the guy asked me when could I start. ‘When can you really start?’ I told him when it was possible and they went in another direction. I wasn’t upset. That just means that God needed me to continue to be at Jackson State.”
Well, that’s interesting. Because that’s not how Sanders tried to make it sound in November when he was being peppered with questions about being interviewed for the TCU job after claiming that he was “locked-in” at Jackson State.
“I’m so darn tunnel vision and focused and locked in on what we’re trying to accomplish here at Jackson State,” Sanders proclaimed in September. “That’s who I am, that’s what I am, that’s how I get down. That’s how I’ve been successful, being able to lock-in — focus on what’s at hand.”
Sanders must have superpowers. Because according to him, he was able to have tunnel vision on his duties at Jackson State while also knocking interviews at Power Five jobs out of the park as he was in the hospital recovering from a very serious foot injury.
“Never believe rumors, especially when I’ve been in the hospital for darn near a month. So never just go out there and believe what you hear,” said Sanders in November when he tried to originally downplay TCU’s interest in him by making it seem like the reports were false. “Think about this, man. I’m in a hospital bed fighting, in a real fight. You and nobody on this line have no idea what I’ve gone through. You’re just going to assume, and guess, and analyze this and analyze that. You have no idea.”
When Sanders first showed up in Jackson 12 months ago, he said, “I am happy where I am.” Less than a year later he was talking about how, “you’ve got to go to bed with this program (Jackson State) on your mind…because this isn’t a time clock that you just punch-in and punch-out.”
If you’re confused, join the party. I was always taught that a man was only as good as his word, but when it comes to Deion Sanders and his time at Jackson State, it’s impossible to nail down just who he is given the things he’s publicly said and done.
Is he the guy that wants to make things better for HBCUs, or is he the man that had a Black reporter banned from covering his team because he knew that he and his team were going to be asked some tough questions following a report that came out earlier in the week detailing that one of his most coveted recruits was charged with assaulting a woman?
Only time knows if Deion Sanders is really trying to build something at Jackson State, or if he’s using the school and program as a self-promotion tool to get one of those Power Five jobs he keeps interviewing for. I just know that when that day comes, it’ll be hard to believe the answer Sanders gives us. Not because it won’t be true, but because he’s the one that made himself an unreliable source.