In today’s world of college football, if your program isn’t actively looking for the next best situation then your program is going to get left behind. That sentiment is especially true for non-power five schools, and Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders knows it.
With that in mind, Jackson State is already speaking about conference realignment.
Sanders, just like any other college coach, wants the best financial situation for his program.
“What do we want to do?” Sanders asked ESPN. “Do we want to sit back and adhere to tradition? Or do we want to put ourselves in a financial situation where our school prospers? You’ve really got to factor that in and weigh those options. There’s some tremendous options that some of the schools are going to be faced with. We’re already speaking about it.”
As Sanders eluded to, Jackson State is a marquee HBCU with a long line of tradition. Jumping ship may change that tradition, but it goes back to putting your program in the best situation from this moment forward.
North Carolina A&T and Hampton became the first HBCUs to join the Colonial Athletic Association earlier this month.
Sanders more often than not shoots it straight, and he knows this conference realignment stuff is school simply “chasing the bag.”
“You call it realignment. You can really call it chasing the bag,” Sanders said. “That’s all they’re doing, they’re chasing the bag.”
“I’m trying to put it nicely because I’m a head coach now, but they’re trying to get money, man. Everybody is trying to align themselves properly so their program can prosper, and I don’t mind that. I want our program to prosper as well.”
Jackson State finds itself in a different situation than its fellow HBCU programs looking to make a move to a new conference as long as Sanders is manning the sideline.
On top of that, Jackson State broke the FCS attendance record averaging over 42,000 fans per home game last season. The recruiting momentum is there as well with Travis Hunter, the nation’s top prospect, set to take the field in Jackson this year.