Throughout Division I recently, we’ve seen schools make significant investments in the “cost of attendance” stipend for student-athletes.
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders is looking to expand the cost of attendance conversation to include HCBUs. The NFL Hall of Famer made an impassioned plea on Twitter this afternoon for HBCUs to make the move and begin providing cost of attendance for athletes.
In his tweet, Sanders told the story of one of the linemen on his JSU team who is balancing his class and football workload with holding down a job.
“Seeing 1 of my lineman getting dressed in the locker room for work after a tough 7:15am workout/ strength, conditioning & class,” Sanders wrote. “Now he’s headed to put in 6 hours on the clock at his job brought tears to my eyes as I walk away from him. HBCU’s need COST OF ATTENDANCE! #CoachPrime”
Seeing 1 of my lineman getting dressed in the locker room for work after a tough 7:15am workout/ strength, conditioning & class. Now he’s headed to put in 6 hours on the clock at his job brought tears to my eyes as I walk away from him. HBCU’s need COST OF ATTENDANCE! #CoachPrime
— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) June 11, 2021
This isn’t the first time Sanders has spoken out as an advocate for HBCUs. He previously lobbied for HBCU players to be invited to the NFL Combine and lamented the lack of HBCU representation in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Additionally, back in February, he expressed his desire to expand the college football bowl structure to include more HBCU programs.
“Why we keep accepting Spam when we can get a steak? Why in the world would we do that?” Sanders said via HBCU Gameday. “And then, I get upset with the simple-mindedness of people that say, ‘we already have a bowl.’ Well yeah, that’s for two teams. Only two teams. What about all the other teams that had winning records? What other bowls do they get to go to? None.
“So you mean to tell me you can go 9-2 and you don’t get to go to a bowl game because you’re not a champion? I just saw a bowl game that had a team that won two darn games this year. Made me mad. That got me hot. Why can’t that be us? Difference is all the people who are talking and murmuring, they’ve never been to a bowl. I went to four bowl games at Florida State. I remember the impact that had on me.”
We’ll see if Prime Time can help enact any of these reforms he is suggesting, but it already seems pretty clear he won’t stop fighting for them.