Dear Culture

Neon Deion Leaves Jackson State for Colorado

Episode 26

NFL Hall of Fame player and college coach Deion Sanders rocked the football world with his move from Jackson State University to the University of Colorado Boulder. Opinions are flying and everyone is talking about what the change will mean for the culture of HBCU football. Panama Jackson is joined by several former college athletes to debate the controversial move.


Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, Black Culture Amplified. What’s going on everybody and welcome back to Dear Culture, the podcast for, by and about Black culture here on theGrio Black Podcast Network. As always, I’m your host, Panama Jackson. And today we’re going to talk about something that everybody’s talking about. If it ain’t in your group chats, it’s on your social media. Maybe your grandmother called you to talk about because she has an opinion about it, too. Literally everybody right now is talking about Deion Sanders. Prime Time. Neon Deion leaving his job at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, to take a job at the University of Colorado. Boulder.

Deion Sanders [00:00:40] Boulder, Colorado you have no idea what you’ve blessed me with, the opportunity that you’ve given me, and I feel like I owe you. So every day I’m going to work for you. I’m going to strengthen for you. I’m going to develop for you. I’m going to commit for you. I’m going to do the things that others wouldn’t do. Baby, we’re coming.

Panama Jackson [00:00:56] Now, this is only an issue because, well, Black folks got opinions and people feel, listen, this decision that he’s made, this is the real decision. Everybody want to give LeBron decision, this decision 2.0, right? Because this intersects culture, community, community economics. Basically every principle of Kwanzaa is up for play here in its discussion about Deion Sanders. Joining me today for this discussion are three of my homies, some of my best friends in life and part of my own personal group chat about this. Now, interestingly, everybody here has some way that we’re connected to this discussion, either through HBCU’s, through the SWAC, through college athletics. So let me introduce you to who we have here. I’m going to start with Frank Williams, one of my best friends in life. I’m going to say that about everybody here. But one of my best friends in life, Howard. I’m sorry. Who almost put you at Howard University? My bad. I’m losing it already. Morehouse College graduate, but also played football at Morehouse, a Morehouse College scholar athlete. Right. We’re also joined by Corey Wilson, one of my best friends in life, also an LSU scholar at Louisiana State University. So we have some like SCC, we have SEC ties here. Right. But he’s also from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Southern University, SWAC country. Right. Also one of my other best friends in life, Jibri Griffin, who is both Morehouse and Howard University. So we have Howard University law. Let me make sure I get that lawyer that lawyer tag. I got to respect titles around here. So we got HBCUs, we got we got big college sports and the SEC, SEC, which is going like a big league, the big 12 in almost every every conceivable way, which I think comes up in this conversation about jobs and where we take them to Black colleges. We got everything. So, first of all, how’s everybody doing? How y’all doing today?

Corey Wilson [00:02:56] Doing good, man.

Frank Williams [00:02:57] Not too bad. Not too bad.

Jibri Griffin [00:02:59] I’m trying to shake it off from where Deion stabbed me in the back. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:04] This is what I love. We already started.

Corey Wilson [00:03:07] He do anything in particular or. What he do to you.

Jibri Griffin [00:03:11] You mean? I mean, he made available to every Black person not to stab him in the back.

Corey Wilson [00:03:15] Okay, that’s a bit extreme.

Jibri Griffin [00:03:19] If you could just, like, call me a Black Twitter. I’m not saying that I feel that way all the time. I just feel that way sometimes, depending on what I’m reading the time. I feel that way sometimes.

Panama Jackson [00:03:29] All right. Well, let’s start here. Let’s start here because this is that’s exactly where I wanted to start. So I want to know how each of you individually felt about the news that D.R. was leaving Jackson State in going to Colorado, of all places, one of the worst programs in the Big 12, which makes it one of the worst programs in power five football. But so let’s start with you Jibri. The reasons you said he stabs you in the back already. Let’s start. This seems like a good place to start.

Jibri Griffin [00:03:55] Listen, I know I came in hot because. But to be honest, my feelings vacillate. You know, I think in the end, like, when I’m when I’m at my calmest, I don’t blame anybody. I think that this is the kind of thing that happens. You don’t hold it against the Deion Sanders. You don’t hold it against a coach for upward mobility. You coach at a program at a certain level that leads you to another job at another level. That’s kind of the way it always is. You know, recruits are left behind. Parents have been promised, the coaches come to their home and they say, we will take care of your boy. We will make sure he stays out of trouble and that he graduates. And now the person who was promised that has moved on could do that for another group of kids. And you have to trust somebody else. But once they get the go with the honor, very lucky. But that’s not for everybody. So I think, man, you can really look at it either way, like. He hurt me, but I don’t blame him. It’s tough.

Panama Jackson [00:04:52] So I’m not hurt by it. I get it. So I’m in in terms of what he did. I get it. I also am a little disappointed by it, but because it just feels like a job left undone, like he didn’t finish the job that it sounded like he intended to complete when he got there. But what you say and what you do, you say something in the moment and what you do when an opportunity presents itself that maybe you want it in the first place or something that looks like a job you wanted in the first place. Who knows? So. Corey, what are your thoughts on what were your thoughts when you heard the news that Dion was leaving Jackson State?

Corey Wilson [00:05:26] I was excited for Deion. I’m excited. You know, I’m a Deion Sanders fan. I think he’s a good guy. I didn’t have any issue with it. That’s a part of sports. Like you go to a place you do well and you know, larger opportunities come your way and you take those larger opportunities. It was probably like no big time coaches that have not already done this, including the likes of Nick Saban and other people like that. So this isn’t like something that we don’t see every day in the coaching world. You know, I hear why people are disappointed. I don’t necessarily agree with it and we’ll get to that later. But I was excited for Deion. I’m excited for for for Colorado. You know, I know people like, oh, it’s a terrible program. And it is. And terrible programs are usually the ones that are hiring. Right. The good programs aren’t hiring. They already have a coach. So, you know, chances are when you get a job like this, you’re going to a school that is losing and that’s what it is. He’s in a power five conference. They have, you know, good resources. I think he can turn it around. We’ll see. But, I mean, I was excited for him. I’m excited for Colorado. College football in general.

Panama Jackson [00:06:35] Fair enough. Time for a quick break. We’ll be right back.

Frank Williams [00:06:39] So I’m going to say I’m pretty bias and I’m going to just say that on the front end. This cause is probably one of my favorite players of all time. So I definitely remember watching him and it being when he got the ball, it was an event regardless. And sometimes, you know, I’m related in basketball, you know, you hear a lot of people say, well, how can you control the ball? I can control the game without the ball. And the idea that, too. Right. So I’m super biased towards him. I’m not mad at him at all. And I know a lot of people say, well, he left the job undone. I don’t know how much more was going to be done without additional resources. And so I understand people want that commitment. I think there was this fairy tale that people wanted. You know, the ABC used to become a power five school and I just kept on winning and that just was not going to happen. I feel like there is a there is some kind of disconnect somewhere. And the truth is that much more was going to be done without more additional resources. That’s just it.

Panama Jackson [00:07:47] I agree. My issue with it such that when I said the job undone, it was partially due to his own rhetoric. Right. So I’m I’m blaming Don for coming in hot. Right. Debris came in hot. I’m blame India for coming in hot because I feel like a lot of time in selling this movement.

Corey Wilson [00:08:05] He accomplished everything he promised he would accomplish.

Panama Jackson [00:08:08] Well, hold on. Let me let me finish. Hold on. I’ll let you respond to that, Corey, because I know you probably disagree with this, but I feel like. I don’t like I don’t buy the sell out rhetoric. None of that stuff. I think I think that’s unfair. I think that’s ridiculous. I think that’s a bridge too far. I don’t agree with that at all. Plus, I’ve never been offered $5 million to go anywhere. And I don’t know how much my blood, I don’t know how much my love for the community runs so deeply that I’d be like, You know what? I can’t take this money for the sake of the community because I can probably take that money and come back, is how I view it. But. I do feel like when Deion got there, there was this, like, groundswell of belief in like somehow there’s a change, a coming and Deion believes he’s the one to lead it. And I actually believe he probably could because the personality, what he brought. Like he literally changed the face of the way that we were looking at Jackson State. Everybody cared about Jackson State. They all we were all talking about buying jerseys and all kind of stuff. And everybody was on board with this, right? Everybody believe what he’s selling. He was a national coach. Right. He came in, he got videos everywhere, like Deion made you buy into this vision that he had. Now, I don’t know exactly what, like the vision was very specific, but it made us all feel like it was for us. It was a vision that I think that he created that was going to work at Jackson State. And I don’t know that he didn’t do it. Maybe he did exactly what what he could do within within the limits of what he had. But it felt different. So when he up and leaves for now, when I say undone, it feels like he wasn’t there long enough to make the change that he came in talking about. That’s what I believe. Like he couldn’t make the change that maybe he never could. But it sounds like he couldn’t do this. So Corey, based on everything I just said, what are your thoughts on that?

Corey Wilson [00:09:54] So I think he delivered on the things that he said he would deliver on. Right. He said he wanted to bring more attention and exposure to HBCUs. He did that. He wanted to increase the revenue and the funding there to go there and like get the players better facilities, better uniforms that are all that, he did that. He wanted to increase the opportunity for for HBCU players to play professionally, and he kind of doing that. So, you know, the thing the major things that he said he was going to deliver on, he delivered. Now, people maybe wanted to go even further or like, you know, like Frank was saying like but he he delivered on the things he said he would deliver on. And you know, now it’s time for someone else to take the torch and keep it going and and grow it..

Frank Williams [00:10:42] So what I heard from you, Panama, was that, you know, a lot of the promises he made was personal. But I feel like the gain here or the lesson learned was the motto and more resources will get you more. And so, you know, we talk about that a lot in terms of sports and HBCUs. No resources. No resources, no resources. Well, Jackson through, you know, various means poured in resources, brought people and got results immediately. And I feel like that’s the take away there. So it’s not say about Deion, even though, you know, he’s this character larger than life and he himself kind of made it about himself and everyone else did. But the model is pour in resources, get results. Who’s going in undefeated or close to that, like, the model works and we should be the walk away and keep on going and continue with the model.

Jibri Griffin [00:11:37] Okay. I quite agree with that. Beyond a blue or a blue print, because to follow this blue print, you’ve got to be Deion. So like, you know, you need another, mega star athlete. Or someone like Deion. There are other people like the all but nobody like Deion. There’s other Hall of Famers. There’s other players. But this personality, this guy, this fame, what he’s known for, this swag, this gift of gab. That’s Prime Time Deion Sanders.

Corey Wilson [00:12:04] Sure.

Jibri Griffin [00:12:07] We can find that everywhere.

Corey Wilson [00:12:09] There’s rumors like someone like Ray Lewis is interested in coaching HBCU football, will Ray Lewis not be able to do the same thing that Deion did.

Panama Jackson [00:12:16] Maybe he could. So here’s the question. And this gets to what Jibri brought up. The reason why I don’t think this blueprint, like he laid the blueprint because once Deion leaves it’s all gone. Like I don’t I don’t feel like this is all going to I don’t feel like it’s everything that happened is going to. I feel like. I feel like while Deion is there, all this stuff exists. When Deion leaves, it’s all going to go because the top recruits, they’re not going to come there anymore. They were coming for Deion, right? Like, it sounds like Deion called in a ton of personal favors and everybody was more than willing and happy to help out. Well, the next coach that comes in there, eight, Deion Sanders. Now, maybe. Let’s say it is a Ray Lewis. That’s different, right? Because Ray Lewis is somebody we view like Deion, right? Like somebody who is beloved in many corners of especially the community. Where’s Ray Lewis from? He’s from Florida.

Corey Wilson [00:13:03] He’s from Miami. Miami.

Panama Jackson [00:13:06] So let’s let’s say I mean, I don’t know the job openings up at FAMU, but if Ray Lewis goes the FAMU, it’s a different ballgame, right? Like it feels different. It’s the same kind of thing. But I feel like these people are so much larger than life that what they bring with them leaves once they go. And that’s why I don’t view it as a blueprint either.

Frank Williams [00:13:22] Because here’s the thing, though. The model still works in the sense that so people can’t. He brought in favors, which means that Jackson actually needed to put in more resources. So like the model still stands. I get it is specific to D.R. because of his character and how he kind of pulls people in. I get that. But if you want results, you got to put in the resources one way or the other. And Jackson got resources for even cheaper than what they were supposed to give it for. Well, they still have to follow up on their end. So, like, GiDeion’s gone. But Jackson State needed to still pull up their end, or any school for that matter.

Corey Wilson [00:13:58] I agree with Panama in a way that this isn’t necessarily a blueprint that that all the HBCU can follow. But I think, you know, so we have to ask why, though, you know. So in this case, the the the entertainment, the eyeballs came with Deion because that was something people wanted to see. Once he leaves why do those eyeballs leave? Because maybe the product itself isn’t good. So maybe we need to get a better product. And then we don’t have to have, like, a showman to sell it a product. The product can sell itself. So so, you know, I think that other questions to be asked about why. So if this blueprint doesn’t work, then we could use another blueprint. But that blueprint might require a better product.

Panama Jackson [00:14:40] So I’m going to two things I want to say, actually. Let’s take a real quick break. You know, we’re going to come back and talk more about this, right? Stay tuned right here and your culture. All right. We’re back here on Dear Culture and we’re talking about the departure of Deion Sanders from Jackson State University to the University of Colorado Boulder. He’s the new head coach there. His departure has caused all kind of think pieces and discussions in the community. We all got opinions. Everybody’s people feel a way. Some people feel a way. And before the break, we were talking about the replicability of what Deion Sanders did at at Jackson State. And Cory, what you said was maybe the product isn’t that good or isn’t good enough to bring all the eyeballs that somebody like Deion brings. So two examples, two things I want to bring up. So our first year at Morehouse, who was the coach, who was the head football coach at Morehouse?

Frank Williams [00:15:30] Doug Williams.

Panama Jackson [00:15:31] Doug Williams Right. Doug Williams. So we had us a superstar who came in, I believe he brought in like a top recruit and I don’t remember how big of a deal it ended up because Morehouse Football is not that big of a thing. But like you bring in somebody huge, it doesn’t necessarily bring the resources and everything else is kind of my point. Like you still need somebody like Deion Sanders to do it. So I frankly disagree with that. But cool. We’ll get back to that. But here’s here’s the other thing. Well Corey what you said about the product like. Steve McNair. Alcorn State. Broke like every possible record that you could break as a quarterback. I don’t even think most of us knew that now. Maybe the time or most of us outside of that that region were aware of that. Right. Like you heard about that when he gets to to the to the league. What I’m saying is on a national on a national level, I didn’t know. I’ll say this. I didn’t know that.

Frank Williams [00:16:24] He was on the Heisman watch.

Panama Jackson [00:16:25] Social media plays a big part of this because let’s be real like.

Corey Wilson [00:16:29] He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at one point.

Panama Jackson [00:16:32] Which is nitche. Social media removes nitche from everything. I’m just saying in the sports world. Yes. Deion Sanders is not, people who don’t care about football and talking about Deion Sanders leaving is my point. Like it’s a different conversation that we’re having now. Like it’s not just happening among sports pundits, it’s happening in the community at large, right? Like that. That’s my point. Like it’s a different world. So I argue that maybe I don’t know if the product isn’t that good. I think people just second class citizen HBCU like to do everything Black in the community. Like people treat Black schools like they’re Black schools. And part of what I think has come up in this conversation is that everybody feels like Jackson State should just be happy that that Deion showed up in the first place. Like you should be glad that he was ever there because he made things better for you while you were there. So appreciate that. And I hate that mentality because it makes it seem like Deion basically did a favor to Jackson State and this HBCU and everybody should just be happy and like be happy for him that he’s gone there.

Corey Wilson [00:17:34] They’re paying him 300,000 a year. He’s doing more for them than they’re doing for him. So if we’re talking about who’s doing who a favor. Yes, he’s doing them a favor.

Jibri Griffin [00:17:43] But word Deion needed that if we all had aspirations of coaching at a high level so that he could run a program and he didn’t want to be an assistant coach, so he needs to find somewhere that will let him be a head coach off the job. And that’s something that Jackson State could offer him that he couldn’t get most places. So beyond does oh, Jackson State quite a bit.

Corey Wilson [00:18:04] Well, this last year, he gave half his salary back to the school to help finish the facilities. This sounds like he gave he didn’t do anything.

Panama Jackson [00:18:12] Is really nice I’m.

Jibri Griffin [00:18:13] Saying beyond didn’t like that they get something out of it as.

Corey Wilson [00:18:17] Well of course. I mean why why would you participate in something you don’t get anything out of? But to just say that like he used them and like he’s the one who benefited more from this than they did. That’s just not that’s just not.

Panama Jackson [00:18:27] Yeah, I don’t agree with that either. But I don’t agree with this whole idea that that he got nothing out of it. I’m completely with Jibri on this one because people are this goes back to my people acting like Jackson State should be happy he ever showed up in the first place. Like it’s being treated as if, “look, y’all, Jackson State was trash Deion shows up and puts all gets college gameday there” and then all of a sudden like everybody should just be happy that he ever showed up in the first place. And I feel like we treat a lot of Black products like that. Frank, you disagree.

Frank Williams [00:18:59] That’s not 100% false. I mean, I think Jackson had a run in the nineties, but it’s been a while since Jackson has been even relevant in the SWAC.

Jibri Griffin [00:19:09] But that unique to Jackson when was the SWAC last relevant? Like, you know what we talk about? We talk about different level of football.

Frank Williams [00:19:18] So we talking about Jackson or we talk about HBCUs? So the idea that Jackson should just be happy that he was there, that’s not 100% invalid.

Jibri Griffin [00:19:27] I’m just not sure that’s the thing to focus on.

Frank Williams [00:19:31] Point, maybe. I didn’t bring up the point.

Corey Wilson [00:19:33] Did he create opportunities and exposures that weren’t there prior to him, and they will probably have never come if he never went there? The answer to that is yes. So how can they not be happy that he came? Even if it’s for a little while? A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.

Frank Williams [00:19:48] Because people feel okay about feeling grateful. That’s what it is like, you know? I mean, like it’s a real kind of personal, like why am or be grateful to you? I think that’s some of it.

Panama Jackson [00:19:58] Plus, you, Don King in it like you got a little bit of your money as opposed to all of you. You should be happy. You got some of that. Like, it’s it’s I don’t think that’s a proper way to approach, like especially when I’m just saying I don’t like the conversation that is like, you should just be happy Black school that he even thought of you in the first place. Because that’s what I feel like a lot of the conversation is. I don’t think that’s fair. I think that does that thing that we often do with Black products where it becomes like it’s second class status is just established. So any good that comes should just be icing on the cake as opposed to maybe we should be trying to do better about these institutions and places in the first place. I’m just saying.

Jibri Griffin [00:20:46] But let’s be real when we get something, it means more to us. Like we just saw this with Black Panther. Like Black Panther two. They didn’t recast T’challa because Chad Boseman meant so much to the Black community because we never see Black movie stars in Black A plus movies. So like, this is the kind of thing that we as Black people hold on to. Like, Oh, Deion going to do something for this Black school, but he better do it. He better see see it through to the end. And, you know, I feel that way sometimes because I feel like we all have a responsibility to each other. But this is a long conversation. W.E.B versus Booker T. There’s always more than one way to go about it. You know, we do a podcast we argue whether Michael should go to Xavier or to Harvard? And, you know, what kind of opportunities for that provide? You know, can you go to Harvard and then come back to the community when you finish Harvard. Should you throw your money back in the Harvard to establish a minority scholarship, what should you give your money to HBCU? Like, what’s going to be the best way to go about it? And in general, I think some people can do a lot of this so he can deliver that. And it’s okay if we all move on to a higher school, but it still hurts when he leaves the HBCU bar before he finishes his mission. He said it was a mission from God. He said he had to, you know, uplift the Black schools, put them on a plane with the other schools. And if you don’t do that, then there’s going to be some side eye. But he’s going to be some.

Corey Wilson [00:22:12] He lifted him up, though.

Jibri Griffin [00:22:14] He lifted him. So we’ll see what they do now. But I mean, is it.

Corey Wilson [00:22:20] There was another option here? Because we can’t we keep blaming Deion, but at the end of the day, Jackson State could have came through and did more to retain the talent that they had in place. Right. So some of it’s got to be their responsibility for not stepping up to the plate to retain the talent that they’ve accumulated. You know, like you can’t be asking us to always take a hit. Like this dude got a 15x salary increase. Nobody in the Earth is turning that down. I’m turning down an extra $15.

Panama Jackson [00:22:50] You could turn it down if you don’t need it. And I’m not saying he should have, by the way, because I, I said in the first place, I’ve never been offered that kind of money. I’m pretty sure I’m taking it. So I don’t I don’t I’m not faulting him for that either. But you’re also asking so, when you go to Jackson State, you already know those things. You don’t you’re not going there because you’re thinking you’re about to get paid like you’re going to get paid in Colorado. It is a labor of love, right? Like you made that decision. And in doing so, when again, this comes back to me, to all the rhetoric. Bridges laid out some of that stuff is the rhetoric, the saying, the things that imply that you’re here for the long haul of some sort, like none of us believe he was going to be there forever, right? None of us thought he was going to be Eddie Robinson out here.

Frank Williams [00:23:32] But he also said wouldn’t either. He said early on, I’d have to.

Corey Wilson [00:23:36] He did a 60 Minutes interview a couple of months ago. And if someone if the Power five offer comes calling, I’m going to look at it.

60 Minutes [00:23:45] What happens when a power five school says, give us a number, we’ll make it work. I’m glad to entertain it. You are? Yes. I’m going to have to entertain it. Straight up. Well, I would be a fool not to.

Panama Jackson [00:23:59] Time for a quick break. We’ll be right back. And we’re back. Let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a question, if you will. You know, I want everybody to answer this. Is Jackson State football better off now than it was then? Is it better off? Is it better off than when he before he got there? I think the answer is yes. Is it going to be. Is it on a trajectory to continue moving higher? With him leaving. Corey, start with you.

Corey Wilson [00:24:30] I would say it’s better off right now than it was when he got there. They have better facilities. They have, you know, better resources. Is it on a trajectory going forward? I would say there’s probably going to be a downswing before there could be an upswing. But we see that in sports. Right. When big figures leave, like, you know, when LeBron lead the Cavs, they win a championship, but then they stink the next year. Right. But they won the championship, so it was worth it. So, you know, I think we’ll see like a small downswing, but if someone comes in and comes up with some innovative ideas or comes with a new approach, they can they can easily get back to the top. But they are in a better place right now than they were five years ago.

Frank Williams [00:25:10] Yeah, I’d say just based on the facilities alone, they’re better. They’re going to be better this coming year than they were the year before he arrived. So I read somewhere that they couldn’t even practice if it rained. That’s crazy. That is insane. For a Division one school. Division one school to not be able to practice if it rains, so will they be as good as this year? Probably not. But they’re going to be better in September than they were the September before he arrived.

Panama Jackson [00:25:40] Jibri?

Jibri Griffin [00:25:42] I think it remains to be seen whether this will be followed by the next person. I mean, really, I mean, so the next person is their salary will be 150 because now there’s 150 that’s allocated to school resources and they’ll be almost given half the salary back. So is that something that’s sustainable? You know, like how what how are they going to call for more resources? I don’t think they have them. So it’s going to be tough to keep this going. You know.

Corey Wilson [00:26:07]  I don’t want to interrupt, but some of the resources are coming from from corporate sponsorships like Wal-Mart, like donated to field. Like American Airlines donated money, like for them to fly. So it wasn’t necessarily like the city of I don’t know, the city has any more resources to pouring in, they don’t have the water over there. So it’s going to come to like corporate corporate partnerships. And, you know, someone has to figure out how to attract corporate partnerships.

Frank Williams [00:26:37] Yeah, I think that’s.

Panama Jackson [00:26:38] Part of that is so and I agree. I don’t I don’t think you’re wrong. But that’s where the Deion problem comes in, right? Deion leaves, Deion is a magnet for all that stuff. Right. Because Don so so this speaks to your point about like everything that happened because Don was there. And the reason why I don’t think this is a blueprint that can work going forward. Right. So Deion Sanders is there. He’s all over social media. He’s his video, his inspiration. We are watching these. I’m being inspired to be, too. I’m watching his little videos, talking to his students. I’m giving them my kids. I hey, guys, let me let don parents you 5 minutes right quick. Let me listen to the speech.

Deion Sanders [00:27:16] So I got to prepare you for life. So I got to spend more time with the live part than the pro part because the 95 ain’t going. But there’s five percent that is.

Panama Jackson [00:27:27] The speech is awesome. Like, be motivated. Like, all of that stuff turns him into a national he’s a national figure, right? He’s already somebody who’s common. He’s a national figure. So because of that, all these sponsors are like, well, if we are associated with Deion, we can get. And not only that, we get good will with Black people, right? So not only are we being associated with Deion, we’re getting some of this Black goodwill. We’re get we’re getting the fives on the Black hand side now. So now we’re going to get all this stuff. But. Once that’s gone. That’s what I’m like. I’m with Jibri on that. It remains to be seen because. Like I guess you I don’t know what kind of contracts they signed. And you should have somebody that’s in these schools to try to go get that stuff, but they’re all not that attractive to all these places in the first place. So they’d already be there. LSU don’t have problems getting corporate sponsors right, they don’t have those issues right. You know, like Morehouse. Morehouse probably and Howard those like how were just signed with Jumpman. Right. They just they they got that it’s 2022, you know what I’m saying? Like these things are just now getting there because there’s all these spotlights on HBCU’s now. But you can’t tell me that Howard is getting the same kind of money that North Carolina or Michigan would get. Right. Like, it’s just it’s not the same kind of thing. So I don’t I’m curious too about where all the resources, like how much resources do we need to be able to properly compete in a way that makes these things attractive? I don’t know what that is.

Frank Williams [00:28:53] So but if that’s the case, I mean, I still don’t understand what we’re saying this model is not sustainable. I think you still got to bring in top talent, top coaching and more resources. So whether it’s Deion, it has to be somebody.

Jibri Griffin [00:29:11] I think we’re really going to find out something because.

Frank Williams [00:29:13] You still got to get top ten recruits or top 150 recruiting in Football.

Panama Jackson [00:29:18] They weren’t coming.

Frank Williams [00:29:18] You got to bring in coaches with NFL experience that’s been in the Super Bowl or has done great things like that. That’s what I mean by the model is not per se, a Deion model, it is a resource winning model.

Jibri Griffin [00:29:32] And then, you know, they can do that now because the profile has never been bigger. I saw that they were talking about this on CNN. Everyone is aware of this debate. The mainstream media is aware of this debate. You know, this is this used to be a dinner table debate among us, a barbershop debate among us. The mainstream media is aware of this debate. They use the word sellout on on CNN. So, you know, this is something the profile is big. They they know that we’re discussing, at least among ourselves, whether or not we should continue to send our top Black athletes to PWIs. Because as we have debated for years and years and years, the best athletes are Black. So why aren’t the best teams at the Black schools? That’s something that we’ve always debated for years and years and years, and now that’s in the mainstream. So if there is a chance for that to flip, it’s going to happen soon and this is one of this one of the times that we really get to learn something about how actually sustainable it is.

Frank Williams [00:30:28] I think the sustainability is irrelevant. This is the model for winning and if you don’t do this model, then you will continue to be irrelevant. You will continually be second class citizens within the sports arena. This is the model. There is no other model. So. What else? Like this. It really is no other alternative reality where you can not put go all in and still be winning and still like take it to the national level and be relevant and maybe win the 1AA and maybe, like I said, we have this vision that HBCU division or school will become a power of five. But there is no other model. No where in sports.

Panama Jackson [00:31:11] I want to talk about what you just said because I’ve. So that’s that’s been one of like the little side combos like I always kind of wonder is that a real expectation that we have? Because I don’t know that I ever so as I’m thinking about the whole Deion thing and I’m like, what more did I want from Deion? Like, was it my idea that Jackson State could ever be good enough to face an Alabama in in a game, right. Maybe not win but respectively show because we all watch these games where Florida State plays FAMU and you see like a basketball score on one end and zero or three, maybe maybe seven on the other in a row. Like, why are they even playing these games like these? I know there’s another the financial end to it. I don’t know exactly what the financial and is, but I realize there’s a financial into it. But it’s like that just seems ridiculous. Like, I don’t even like if you’re. That’s demoralizing, right? So I guess I’m wondering more like 77 zero.

Corey Wilson [00:32:02] Yeah. It’s not you.

Panama Jackson [00:32:03] You still playing that game in 77 like and that’s probably the third quarter like that’s yeah. It’s got to be more to get up for that game to finish that game.

Corey Wilson [00:32:10] Nah it’s like, you know, sometimes it can actually be inspiring or it can be motivational is demoralizing to losers. Right. But if you’re a winner, it would take you back in motivation to say, hey, I’m not as good as a bunch of dudes over here that are a lot better football than me. I need to work harder. If tou’re a loser you gonna tuck your tail, then go cry. Also, it’s inspirational. Just being, you know, in a stadium in that setting. Maybe never played in front of 80,000 people before. Now you playing in front of 80,000 people. If Michael Jordan beat the basketball 100 to nothing, I wouldn’t be demoralized. 

Panama Jackson [00:32:43] You think Deion should’ve taken up one of those. I mean, because Deion said he wasn’t he didn’t think they were ready to play those games.

Frank Williams [00:32:48] And he was right.

Corey Wilson [00:32:48] Oh, because well, he a couple of reasons why. One he doesn’t like the money that they he didn’t feel like they’re getting a fair shake a lot of to HBCU right now get like between 400 500,000 and play these games he thinks they should be getting closer to $1,000,000 to play these games so he didn’t like the percentage deal and, you know, he wants to win. But, you know, and he’s also in a unique position. It’s easy for people with money to say, hey, I don’t need no money or you know what I’m saying? But you’ve got other schools like Grambling or Alcorn, where they’ve had financial issues that have resulted in even better play games in the last few years. Like they can’t turn down money, you know. They have to play those games. And I think I mean, I think they’re good for HBCUs. There’s a quick way to get some resources, man. Some these resources we’re talking about when you go play, get a half a million bucks, you know, you might get your butt kicked but so what.

Frank Williams [00:33:43] Do it for the love.

Corey Wilson [00:33:46] You can get your butt kicked in a regular game, you know? Jackson State beat FAMU, 58 to 3. I got their butt kicked for free. Might as well got a half a million dollars with it. 

Panama Jackson [00:33:54] I do want to say it’s hilarious when you say what would you say? Demoralizes for losers. Yeah, that’s a that’s that was awesome.

Corey Wilson [00:34:02] Yeah. A loser gonna get demoralized by the loss, you know. So that’s just what it is. But I hear that line of thinking that you spewed a minute ago, but I just don’t agree with it.

Panama Jackson [00:34:15] Not SPU, though. Okay. We’re going to take one more break. We’re going to we’re going to come back.

Corey Wilson [00:34:19] Look, man ya’ll be throwing out the long words.

Frank Williams [00:34:21] You came up with spew?

Panama Jackson [00:34:22] Spew has four letters.

Corey Wilson [00:34:26] Jibri was vacillating earlier. I didn’t know if vacillating had anything to do with Vaseline, but I didn’t know what they mean. Vacillating, what the hell does that even mean? I was like yeah, vacillating for sure. Anyway, my bad. Go ahead.

Panama Jackson [00:34:38] We’ll take a quick break. We’ll come back with with more about Deion Sanders. All right. We’re back to our Dear Culture, still discussing Deion Sanders. I got the homies Frank, Corey, Jibri here. We had a fun conversation, interesting conversation about all the chatter going on about Deion Sanders leaving for Colorado. So I have a couple of questions that I want to kind of bring this all home on. And one of them I want to start with is about HBCU. So there’s all this this conversation about Deion having had me or Deion making HBCUs better, putting them in a better position in some way than they were before. Now I’ve seen a lot of nonsensical statements. People like me, enrollments at HBCU are up because of Deion. I’ve seen that and that’s just nonsensical untrue from one of your applications because HBCU is a probably tapped out of enrollments anyway, but applications would probably be up. But I also don’t think that has anything to do with them. Deion is not responsible for HBCU TV deal that is coming. Those things have been in the works for a long time, but I think it’s nice that we’re giving Deion all this credit, even if it’s all wrong. By the time this is all over, I speak to hear that Deion Sanders actually founded Jackson State and is the reason why all you negroes can read now anyway. But you know what’s what’s discussion without a little bit of fun but part of that discussion has been HBCUs are in a better place now because dealing with the Jackson state. One. Is that true? And if it is true. How so? It’s very once you start.

Jibri Griffin [00:36:09] I do think there’s been an overall benefit to both parties, both Deion and JSU and HBCU as a whole, you know. Deion needed to prove you can run a program, he got that opportunity at JSU. Also, you know, they needed to prove that HBCUs could be marketable, that there would be interest, and that’s also been proven. So I think that, you know, there was benefit on both sides. You talked about a little bit in your in your intro about some of the fun theories that you’ve heard about, you know, enrollment being up. And he joked that, you know, that Deion might found the school. Listen, here’s one thing that I saw on Black Twitter, but I want to ask you guys about that, because Deion was showing such promise and progress at Jackson State that this PWI came in and offered money, wave money in front of his face in order to stop the progress and stem the tide of of our HBCU programs. Now, you guys put any any stock in something like that like it’s all on the come up they wave some money at us and derailed us. Did that happen?

Corey Wilson [00:37:20] I don’t think so. I think it’s just one particular school trying to get better. I don’t think there’s any conspiracy theory going on like, hey, the Blacks are progressing, let’s take away their leader. I just think Colorado is trying to get better at football.

Panama Jackson [00:37:39] Let me play devil’s advocate for a second. Life has taught me that all conspiracy theories have merit. Too many things have happened in this country where all of a sudden, like, we want everything not to be true. But these things ended up being. Sometimes some of this stuff is true. Now, I think that’s ridiculous. But, hey, you never know. Listen, I never get to go to the Illuminati meetings that apparently happen twice a month. I don’t know. Listen, they got Kyrie out of there. They got Kanye out of there. Maybe Deion was just next on the list. Ya’ll all saw Higher Learning. Remember, Buddy had the little paper where he was crossing names off. Maybe Deion was next up on the list. I don’t know.

Frank Williams [00:38:17] So he’s going for more money in some kind of way. He got crossed off the list. Is that what we’re saying?

Panama Jackson [00:38:21] Yeah, because they depleted the possible success rate of a Black school in Jackson, Mississippi.

Jibri Griffin [00:38:27] They took them off the board.

Panama Jackson [00:38:28] They took. They took. They took them off the radar. Let’s be real. Deion is a really big fish in this space. He’s in a power five conference now. He’s still a big fish, but he’s swimming in different waters. Right. Like, you know, the recruits are all over the place. All the five star recruits got a lot of options. You know, they all come into play for Deion now. It’s like, am I going to go to Colorado or go to Alabama? I don’t know. Am I going to go to Georgia or LSU or go play for Deion? I don’t know how. I’m just saying I do think it’s ridiculous, but I think it’s fun.

Corey Wilson [00:38:58] Yeah, I don’t think as a whole I don’t I don’t know what impact it had on HBCUs as a whole. I think from a athletics standpoint, a plus, but as a whole, I mean, I highly doubt enrollment itself. I don’t know if they had those numbers. But if you’re going to HBCU because Deion is coaching at another HBCU, you’re probably in it for the wrong reason. But so I don’t think he harmed them. And I just think, you know, from an athletics standpoint, I think they’re in a better place.

Panama Jackson [00:39:36] Frank?

Frank Williams [00:39:38] Yeah, I mean, definitely a stretch to say that, you know, he’s the savior of all Black schools, but. The Illuminati think that that too is a stretch. I don’t know if we have to believe one conspiracy over the other. We could just call them both garbage. I don’t know.

Panama Jackson [00:39:56] Yeah. There’s a lot of conspiracies at your disposal if you want one in this conversation. Whatever you want to do here, you pretty much have you pick it that. I’m kind of with Corey on as I don’t really feel like HBCUs as a whole benefited. I do agree like there’s no harm done without the HBCU’s winning somehow in this Jackson State, perhaps, right. You know, just the economy in Jackson benefited from that time, right? Like. Those things are all facts. Those are borne out in reports and all kinds of stuff. Did Morehouse somehow benefit from him being there? I don’t know. Did, you know. Tougaloo? I don’t know. I don’t I don’t know if all these other schools actually benefited from it. But I’m I am with you on that, Corey, that there was no harm done.

Panama Jackson [00:40:43] All right. So. To kind of bring this home. I do. What do you all think about? All right. So at Deion, at Jackson State, huge fish comes in. I mean, he’s getting five star recruits. He’s changing. He’s potentially changing the course of history. Right. People are are shunning the Florida states to come to Jackson State. My guess is that is not going to happen this year or if anybody was the transfer portal themselves right out of there to to to go elsewhere. But, you know, Frank, based on what you’re saying, maybe that model could work. So maybe it’ll happen in the future. I don’t know. But for right now, Deion is going to Colorado. Do you think he will have the same type of immediate success at Colorado that he had at Jackson State? Also a quick question about that, too, two parter. Did he bring in that many good players that all of a sudden he had that kind of immediate success? Like, what do we attribute that immediate success to? Because I never actually really thought about that. Like if they weren’t that good before he got there and all of a sudden they’re good. Just like immediately like. Did he did that many players come to Jackson State that were that good to at least in the in the in HBCU land that they were able to turn those tables immediately. So it’s a two parter, but what do you think about Deion’s prospects at Colorado in the very near term? Frank, start with you.

Frank Williams [00:42:07] So I don’t think that it will be as quick, but I don’t think it needs to be right. So I think Colorado will you know, I think he has up to, I would say, up to five years where he can just do gradual increases in in the winds. Right. So I think what this year they were one and ten or something really low.

Panama Jackson [00:42:27] They were bad. They had one win. They were a one win team.

Frank Williams [00:42:31] All right. Two games here. Two games. They’re right at the end of five years. I would assume, though, they’ll be a decent team in that conference. I think you’ve got to shift the expectations a little bit more given kind of like everything that’s around it. So I think the only thing Deion has to do is just show continual improvement, maybe make a bowl game at some point and then keep on. I think that they’re going to be pretty patient with them considering where they were.

Corey Wilson [00:43:00] I don’t think his I think he’ll make immediate change. There’ll be progress. I agree with Frank. It has to be a little bit slow of progress. The conference he’s moving to is a tough conference. I think like right now they probably have like four teams in a top 15, maybe six teams in the top 20. Right. So there are a lot of good teams already in place there. And his team is the worst team in the conference. So he’s got a long way to go. I think he’ll be at Atlanta recruits. I think he he’s already like getting some some big name coaches coming through. Willie Taggart signed on, I think, to coach over there. He’s got some other big time coaches coming through. So we’ve big time coaches with big time players. You know, we can see progress happen pretty rapidly, but I don’t think it’ll be like in the next year or two, maybe like year three or four. You know, we start looking at like a 9/10 win team. A team that plays like maybe like a New Year’s Day bowl game, something like that. But I definitely think he’ll be successful. But, you know, you never know. I guess it’s a tough conference, I guess, for the teams over there. There’s no guarantees.

Panama Jackson [00:44:03] Right. Jibri?

Jibri Griffin [00:44:06] I agree with much of what Frank and Corey touched on. I don’t think it’s going to be that quick of a turnaround that they would do it so quick at Jackson with a talent influx of top recruits, transfers and coaching talent. And where he’s headed they have similar athletes and culture talent in that in that in that conference. So he’s not going to turn around quite as quickly, but I do think he can get the play level up to the top half of the conference over three or four years competing for a national title. Jackson State 12 and 0 this year. Colorado is a long way from 12 and 0. So, you know, that type of success is not going to be seen. But what is deemed as success, you know, he can have one of the top programs consistently in the top 25. That’s something that Colorado doesn’t always see. You know, they go up and down. It has some really good teams, but they’re not usually a top five, top ten, you know, perennial like Alabama, Ohio State and so forth. So I do think he can have some success. It’s just not going to be happening overnight.

Panama Jackson [00:45:10] Right? Yeah, that’s that’s why I am with it. I tend to. I hope he does really well. Like I hope he goes in there and that the expectations aren’t for that immediate turn around. I guess they’re they’re probably not I don’t think anybody believes that that’s going to be the case. But I do hope that he’s able to over the next couple of years, I genuinely like flip that program into one that people are really paying attention to because of how well they’re doing, like how well he’s doing as a coach, how well they’re doing at recruiting, how well they are able to to change the paradigm of what’s already exist there. So he can eventually finally get that Florida State job he really wants.

Frank Williams [00:45:45] But Panama back to the other point you make in terms of. Go ahead Jibri.

Jibri Griffin [00:45:48] Sorry, man. I was going to ask, we were talking about the different level of football. How do you think Colorado’s one in ten teams would have done against Jackson State’s 12 and 0 team. How different is that level of football?

Frank Williams [00:46:01] Very different. I’m still given the nod to Colorado. I just am like.

Corey Wilson [00:46:08] Frank thinks the worst white school in the country could be the best Black school.

Frank Williams [00:46:12] I’m just saying, they will be bigger. They likely will be faster.

Jibri Griffin [00:46:16] I don’t know what we’re talking about.

Panama Jackson [00:46:17] There’s still Black students there.

Jibri Griffin [00:46:19] There’s still Black players.

Panama Jackson [00:46:21] It’s not a white. Not like he’s playing, you know, whatever. Like there’s still Black players on that team. Probably. Mostly.

Corey Wilson [00:46:28] All right. Let me ask a question.

Frank Williams [00:46:30] I’m pretty sure I still got more top 150 recruits than Jackson does.

Corey Wilson [00:46:34] Colorado has only ever had three, five star recruits in the history of the university. So Jackson State ain’t that far behind them as far as collecting talent. But a question that I saw online, which I thought was interesting and me interesting was should Deion add a HBCU like Jackson State to the schedule and scheduled them for a money game so that he can now give back to HBCU by paying them that 1 million that he thought they should make. So he now give that to HBCU school?

Frank Williams [00:47:06] I mean, I doubt he can even make that decision, but I like the idea. I don’t think he could make that decision.

Corey Wilson [00:47:11] He could push for it.

Frank Williams [00:47:12] Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.

Panama Jackson [00:47:15] Yeah, I think so, too. And I think it. Look, the one thing the even though people are upset, the one thing you can’t take away from him is continue goodwill. Right. Like even in in that’s the one place that I will I will will give all the credit. Like he did do a lot while he was there. And he was an advocate, probably still as an advocate for HBCU’s. You know, like that’s the biggest the biggest benefit to HBCUs, I think then was the advocacy that he provided. So if he were to do that and he’s over here pushing and he would do it publicly, let’s be very clear. He would very publicly say, I think they need to be on the on on the schedule and we need to pay them what they are worth to be on that schedule. In fact, go and put Jackson State on their schedule and let’s pay them what they what I believe they should be paid. Like now that goes a long way to flipping some some some that’s that’s systemic change right there. Right. Because then you put the school in a bind. They don’t do it. Then they look bad, they do it. Then all of a sudden you’re creating a ripple that that if you’re doing it for this one, you kind of, other schools have to start paying attention. That would be systemic change that I actually think helps address some of those issues we’re talking about on the resourcing. So that’s actually really creative. And I think that probably again, that’s that’s some of that goodwill. And I think it seems like that’s the kind of thing that Deion probably would think about. Right? Like it seems very intentional, very thoughtful about all the stuff that he’s saying and all the ideas he has, like what however we feel about him leaving in the circumstances or whatever it is it doesn’t. It wasn’t a secret to keep it a secret from anybody. It was very clear. Right. This is the worst kept secret on the planet that he was leaving. Right. That this was, you know, like he’s not he’s not trying to to be shady about this. So that’s that’s actually a really good idea to me. Time for a quick break. We’ll be right back.

Panama Jackson [00:49:03] And we’re back. All right. Well, I think that’s going to bring this to a close. This conversation about the we were all over the place. We had some set we had we may maybe we fixed Black college football. You know, I don’t I don’t know. But I wish the best for Deion at Colorado. I definitely don’t want him to be in a bad spot. Like, I absolutely don’t want the brother to go up there and be in a losing situation consistently or being put in a position that doesn’t allow him to to succeed. But it also seems like that’s just not Deion’s wheelhouse anyway. No man seems like he’s intent on succeeding in using all those resources to do it. So, Frank, Jibri. Corey, I appreciate ya’ll. Your opinions. Thank you for coming in and bringing a group chat to the podcast. Anybody want to shout out things they got going on or where they where they could be found? If you want to be found, you know, Frank, you know, I’m saying we’re going to people find you if they looking for you.

Frank Williams [00:49:58] If you’re looking for me on Instagram, Fredrickaconic. If you’re looking for a player.

Panama Jackson [00:50:06] Corey?

Corey Wilson [00:50:08] You’re looking for me. I’m taking my talents to a PWI. You can find me on the campus, getting paid 15 times what I’m getting paid now. Boy, you can find me on Instagram and cwilsonthagreat. T.H.A. tha great. But yeah, I’ll try to get the 15x pay raise. I might be at the PWI next week.

Panama Jackson [00:50:27] If you get a job, you holler at me. I’m trying to come, too. I do this for the culture from anywhere. Jibri. 

Jibri Griffin [00:50:35] If anybody is looking for conversations like these catch this on new season of the Illinformed Homies Podcast. Coming Soon. Starting real soon. We don’t have a date. But starting real soon. New season of Illinformed Homies Podcast on anywhere that you listen to podcasts.

Panama Jackson [00:50:50] Absolutely. Well, I want to thank you all for being here on Dear Culture and for more conversations about HBCU, because we have quite a few now on Dear Culture. We went to Morehouse. Frank was a part of that conversation at Morehouse College, did a live show there. We went to Grambling. I did a live show at Grambling. Grambling State University. SWAC country. Right. I went down there. I had a conversation with the two folks from Morehouse and Spelman who created the whole pull polo, Ralph Lauren, line up Polo, Ralph Lauren and Morehouse line. So, you know, this is a podcast that cares deeply about issues related to HBCU’s and making sure that we focus on HBCUs here. And unless somebody comes through with the $5 million check, I’m sure I’ll be doing this for quite some time. So thank you for listening to Dear Culture. Please e-mail all questions, suggestions, compliments to podcast at Dear Culture is an original podcast of theGrio Black Podcast Network produced by Sasha Armstrong and Regina Griffin is a managing editor podcast. I’m your host, Panama Jackson, as we like to say on many of our other shows, have a Black one.