Deion Sanders donates half of his salary toward Jackson State sports facility renovation 

Sanders has committed to giving up half of his coaching salary to ensure that his team's facility upgrades are completed by August.

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Jackson State University head football coach Deion Sanders has committed to giving up half of his annual salary to ensure that his team’s new football facility is completed in time for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.  

Sanders committed to the donation in an Instagram video last week and was asked to confirm it during SWAC Media Day on Thursday, according to The Mississippi Clarion Ledger. 

Deion Sanders
Jackson State University head football coach Deion Sanders has committed to giving up half of his annual salary to ensure that his team’s facility renovation is completed in time for the 2022-2023 season. (Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“They (the players) deserve it,” Sanders made clear. “We can’t show off a locker room that we’re not going to enter unless we move. A lot of folks are talking about it, I’m truly about it. A lot of folks talking about bringing solvency to problems, I’m truly about it. A lot of folks talk about what they’re going to do. I do it.”

According to a previous report from The Clarion-Ledger, Sanders has a deal at Jackson State worth $1.2 million over three years — an average of about $300,000 a year. 

In the video, Constance Schwatz-Morini, the founder of SMAC Entertainment, which represents Sanders, encouraged him to donate a quarter of his salary to get the upgrades completed — after informing him that the budget for the HBCU’s facility upgrades had been tapped out.

“This is your legacy we’re talking about,” Schwartz-Morini told Sanders. 

“I’ll put more than that on it to get this done for these kids,” the Pro Football Hall of Famer says in a viral video. “I’ll put half on it to get this done. If you don’t believe me, check me. I will send you the receipts.”

Sanders wants the renovations to be completed by August 4, one month before the Tigers’ opener against Florida A&M University. 

“Coach Prime,” as Sanders is known, signed a four-year agreement to coach Jackson State in 2020. In the 2021 season, he led the team to an 11-1 record and went 8-0 in SWAC. Sanders recruited his sons Shedeur and Shilo to play for the team. His daughter, Shelomi, has committed to playing basketball at the HBCU as well. 

Of the team he’s coaching, Sanders noted Thursday, “These guys matter to me. They mean everything to me. We wouldn’t even have no darn SWAC press conference if it wasn’t for these guys. So, we have to take care of these guys. I don’t offer nothing that I can’t deliver. … They deserve it. I’m sick and tired of us trying to say, well, the other Power 5s do this, and they do that while we can’t even do the little things that we can control doing.”

While he is now the head coach of the Tigers, Sanders is still best known for his years in the NFL as a top defensive back from 1989 to 2000, playing mainly for the Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys, and coming out of retirement to play for the Baltimore Ravens for two seasons before permanently retiring. He also played Major League Baseball concurrently for several teams, including the Cincinnati Reds, the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants from 1988 to 2001.

Coach Prime’s legendary NFL career has provided him with the means to earn the JSU football facility renovations money back, something he also alluded to during the press conference.

“God is going to take care of me,” said Sanders. “I don’t even worry about the money. The financial part, I don’t even worry about it. God got that. I got them.”

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