Deion Sanders Lashes Out at Colorado Players — “We’re Trying to Prepare You For Life”

    After a Colorado professor reached out concerning the behavior of several football players, Deion Sanders took the opportunity to address his team.

    While Deion Sanders might be a controversial figure in college football for his often unusual approach to coaching and recruiting, he’s never tried to hide his intentions as a coach. Like many college football coaches, Sanders takes his role as a mentor as seriously as his role as a coach.

    Following an email from a University of Colorado professor about the behavior and work ethic of some student-athletes, Sanders decided to address the entire team.

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    Deion Sanders Addresses Teams’ Off-Field Work Ethic

    “Coach Prime” took time to address his entire University of Colorado team in the wake of receiving the email, with the whole speech captured in a recent video circulating on X (formerly known as Twitter).

    “Coach Prime” began by reminding his athletes what the coaching staff is trying to accomplish.

    “It bothers me,” Sanders said. “We’re not only a football team, but we’re trying to prepare you for life. We’re trying to get you ready to live in that land right after this one.”

    Sanders then told his team to “check this out” and began to read an email he received from the professor of an introductory-level Spanish course at the university.

    The professor contacted some of the coaches regarding the behavior of athletes in the classroom, indicating they “have never felt so disrespected in my 10 years of teaching.”

    Sanders read the entire email, emphasizing parts about students “being present but not really there” and “not bringing anything to the table.”

    “Since You Choose Not to Be a Great Football Player, We Gotta Make You a Man”

    Afterward, Sanders took it a step further. Though the names are cut off in the video, Sanders presumably showed his team which players were being referenced, emphasizing that the players in question “don’t even have draft grades.”

    The implication is that football talent won’t help many players in the real world, especially if many of the students referenced won’t play football after college.

    Sanders then stated that players in his program “are gonna get something out of this.”

    “You’re gonna be a man or a great football player,” Sanders said. “Since you choose not to be a great football player, we gotta make you a man. We good with that?”

    Sanders’ words sound harsh, but there’s a heavy dose of truth in them.

    I teach high school. Writing is a side gig and a way to stay connected to college football. But my day-in, day-out grind is as an ACT Prep and personal finance teacher. I absolutely understand what’s going on here. Both the professor’s and Sanders’ words resonate with me, because I’ve said them before.

    Students struggle to see the importance of what they’re learning in the classroom. We can all recall a time when we wondered about the purpose of a class.

    I’ve heard as many adults as students wonder why they learned Pythagorean Theorem instead of how to do taxes (I teach taxes in class and many students still don’t pay attention, then come back six months later asking to learn on their time).

    I’m sure my view is somewhat biased, but school has certainly changed. Working with students is hard. Teaching is hard. Often, students don’t realize the importance of learning until long after they’ve left the classroom.

    This isn’t a “bash the next generation” piece. We’re better than that, and more nuance is needed. It’s not a TikTok generation but a TikTok world. Most of us struggle to pay attention anymore. I struggle to watch a football game without simultaneously scrolling Twitter or watching a second screen.

    Parents are as bad as students.

    If I call home because of a student’s behavior — let me be clear: I hate using my off-time to contact a parent. I’d much rather spend my ride home listening to music or the PFN Scouting Podcast. It has to be a significant issue before I call home — there’s about a 50% chance that parent will tell me it’s something I’ve done wrong rather than holding their child accountable.

    Lack of personal accountability is NOT a generational thing.

    It’s also not an athlete thing. In fact, coaches are generally better than parents at holding their athletes accountable. My student-athletes, in general, are more engaged, focused, and well-behaved than my general population students. Our coaches make it clear that low grades equals no play.

    Education has never been as important as it is today. Some feel the tendency here to brush off Sanders’ words as either “kids being kids” or to go the other direction, asking what people expected in the world of the transfer portal and Name, Image, and Likeness.

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    For those, Sanders has more sage advice, adding an ending to his video from his office.

    “Today was not wonderful,” Sanders said. “But I’ll be darned if I allow these kids to get out of here without something … Student-athlete, athlete-student, I don’t care how you say it, you’re gonna get something before you leave here.”

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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