It seems that Deion Sanders (seen above during a 2015 NFL game) is getting a coaching job after all. In August, Sanders left NFL Network after 14 years, and there was a lot of speculation that he would be taking a coaching job. Instead, Sanders signed on with Barstool Sports for a podcast (and appearances on their other podcasts). But now, it seems he’s headed to Jackson State (Division I FCS, SWAC) as their head coach, but with that coming after an incredible wave of denials from the school. Scott Roussel of Football Scoop has a good breakdown on the developments so far:
On Aug. 31, FootballScoop first shared the news Jackson State planned to make a head coaching change.
That same day, we wrote that Deion Sanders was the prime candidate of their search, while stating that offensive coordinator TC Taylor remained a viable candidate.
The University issued denials of our report through their local media.
This morning, we wrote that Prime remained the focus of the search, adding that the University planned to have a deal in place by next week. In the same report, we noted TC Taylor remained an option if Jackson State was unable to land Deion.
After we reported the news above, a person in leadership in JSU Athletics called FootballScoop and explicitly stated that Deion Sanders would not be getting the job, adding the expectation was that TC Taylor would be the next head coach. In fact, this person went so far as to say, “We have an agreement in place and it is not with Deion Sanders.”
Shortly thereafter HBCUGameDay reported that Deion was expected to be the next head coach. In response, FootballScoop contacted leadership of JSU Athletics. The response we received was, “HBCU is wrong. We will let them know.”
HBCU subsequently deleted both their tweets and their article.
[UPDATE: HBCU Sports said that its website crashed as the Sanders story was being reported. The post was not deleted.]
We did not delete our article about Sanders being named JSU head coach. In the process of providing updates, our website crashed shortly after publishing and became inaccessible to readers. https://t.co/qJq7tkxm7A
— HBCU Sports (@HBCUSports) September 18, 2020
But after this, further Sanders reports emerged. Including one from Ross Dellinger of Sports Illustrated:
A hangup getting smoothed out: Sanders is under contract with Under Armour. JSU is Nike.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) September 17, 2020
And FootballScoop’s Roussel added some confirmation, and some notes from Jackson State administration apologizing for their deception:
FootballScoop reached out to JSU Athletics leadership, who apologized for misleading us earlier and who confirmed what we wrote this morning, and what Dellenger tweeted is accurate.
Prime is the target. A deal is expected to be completed by next week.
Great get for Jackson State (assuming it gets done). The way they got there, exemplifies why people use hashtags like #SWACtastic.
And it looks like Jackson State does have a coaching announcement planned:
JSU athletics denies the Deion Sanders story, says Interim Offensive Coordinator TC Taylor is leading candidate. Other sources say Deion is coming. Here’s (a leaked) Monday’s itinerary: pic.twitter.com/kK1cykjIQe
— Mike Evans (@crabblers) September 17, 2020
At the moment, it certainly seems likely that Sanders will in fact be the new Jackson State head coach. And it will be interesting to see if he continues his work with Barstool Sports amidst that. But if Sanders is in fact the choice, Jackson State’s athletic department deserves a lot of criticism for their attempts to refute factual reports about that move. That’s extremely unprofessional, and it’s far from a good look for the school.