Deion Sanders Is Turning Over Colorado Roster With Help From NCAA Rule; AD Rick George Fully Supports

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Deion Sanders has made a ton of noise during his first spring as the head coach at Colorado. Most of it centers around the mass exodus of players, as Sanders puts together his own team in Boulder. Some college football observers are against what is happening, but his boss, AD Rick George, fully supports what Sanders is doing.

The shock factor has been one of the talking points, with 52 players transferring since Sanders took over. How and why those players aren’t on Colorado’s roster at this point has led to conversations behind the scenes.

Obviously George knew what he was getting when he hired Sanders. While the pair were discussing what the future would look like, George noted that Coach Prime has been transparent from the beginning. Deion Sanders wanted his own type of roster and if that meant sending away dozens of players, then so be it.

“He’s been very honest and forthright. He has been very open about it publicly and privately,” George told Heather Dinich. “He’s trying to build a winner at Colorado, and this is his way to do it.”

Deion Sanders Taking Full Advantage Of NCAA Rule At Colorado

Turns out, Colorado is also benefitting from an NCAA rule for first-year head coaches. The rule is called “Aid After Departure of Head Coach,” which allows a school to cut a player. But there is a kicker. If that player decides he still wants to attend the college, but not play football, the school still has to pay for their scholarship.

So, if the third-string quarterback decides that he likes going to school in Boulder and was on scholarship, the school has to honor that scholarship, even though he’s not on the team. The player does not count towards the football team’s scholarship limit of 85, but they still have to honor it.

It’s not as if Deion Sanders is hiding any of this, as the head coach has been very outspoken about bringing in his own players. This transparency is part of the allure with Sanders, which Rick George pointed out when discussing players being asked to leave or look around for a new home.

“He’s just publicly stated it, where a lot of people don’t. We’re not the first to do this,” Rick George further explained. “The NCAA rule says you can have those discussions. If a student-athlete wants to stay, they can stay. The university has to pay for them, they don’t count on your scholarship limits and they’re not on the team.”

Colorado coach Deion Sanders
BOULDER, COLORADO – APRIL 22: Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes watches as his team warms up prior to their spring game at Folsom Field on April 22, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

In the case of Colorado football, a record number of players have entered the portal. The Buffaloes are doing their best to reload the roster, with the team most likely hovering around 70 scholarship players when fall camp begins.

As for Deion Sanders, he told fans from the start that he was going to transform this Colorado football team, with his own “luggage.” It might take some time to get back to a full 85-man roster, but Sanders is doing it his way, even if some of his colleagues don’t agree.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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