The controversy over whether or not Jackson State’s head coach Deion Sanders is SWAC is insane.
After Coach Sanders and Alabama State head Coach Eddie Robinson Jr. interaction that went viral, many took what Coach Robinson said about Coach Sanders to heart.
Granted, between the two Coach Robinson is more SWAC. He’s a SWAC graduate and was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1992 draft. A great accomplishment indeed.
Although Coach Sanders did not attend an HBCU coming out of high school, his impact on the conference and HBCU athletics can’t be diminished.
Who is to say Coach Sanders would be who he is if he did not attend FSU. Remember, the goal for him was to get to the league. Anyone saying it’s easier to get to the NFL from a HBCU compared to a powerhouse like FSU is delusional.
With that being said, the challenges HBCUs have faced since the time of Coach Robinson playing days have only increased. Visibility for HBCUs was almost non-insistent.
Coach Sanders Impact
Since Coach Sanders arrival, the SWAC has seen a major uptick in visibility. We also can’t forget how important the questions Coach Sanders has begun to ask.
He’s challenged the status quo of HBCU athletic culture; ultimately demanding more from the conference, presidents, coaches, and fans across the country to show support.
Coach Sanders has gone as far as to donate some of his own money to help his program. While Coach Robinson Jr. shares a name with one of the most famous college coaches of all time, his impact on his conference and HBCU culture has been minimal.
To say “I’m SWAC and he’s not” is to say you have been comfortable with what has gone on in the SWAC for years. Not to mention the rest of HBCU athletics.
Although, Coach Sanders may have rubbed Coach Robinson the wrong way by walking around the entire field like he does before every game, you must remember that his fans and your fans want to meet the NFL Hall of Famer.
Coach Sanders is tagged as the great cornerback in football history and one of the greatest athletes to ever play sports.
Furthermore, the SWAC commissioner has done a great job of supporting Coach Sanders and Jackson State.
The Tigers have improved greatly in the small amount of time Coach Sanders has been there.
Once more, Coach Sanders has extended his hand to help the other schools in the SWAC like Mississippi Valley and Alcorn State.
Coach Sanders is creating the blueprint for programs like Alabama State to follow.
Ultimately, if being SWAC means no visibility, no scouts at the game, and no top recruits then Coach Robinson is that. However, if you want the visibility, the opportunity to sign top recruits, new uniforms, and NFL scouts roaming the sidelines then Coach Sanders is SWAC. The New SWAC.