Shannon Sharpe Defends Deion Sanders' Decision To Leave HBCU For PWI
The TV host also shared why he went to Savannah State, an HBCU.
by Aria Bell
December 07, 2022 at 12:57 am
Sanders made waves when he became the football coach of JSU in 2020, with many hoping his coaching and advocation for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) would change the trajectory of the school’s football program — which it did.
During his time at the historic institution, he brought more awareness of the importance of HBCUs to upcoming athletic talent. Often, athletes overlook HBCUs out of fear it’ll hold them back from playing in the NFL.
Shannon Sharpe, who graduated from Savannah State University, hopped on Twitter to defend “Coach Prime” after many attacked him and called him a sellout. Sanders accepted the coaching position at the PWI after fiercely advocating for HBCUs and leading JSU to two SWAC championships.
The Undisputed co-host continued to respond to other critics on social media who compared Sanders leaving an HBCU to Black people who leave the hood and are deemed successful.
One user asked Sharpe, “So Black institutions and things are a downgrade?”
This questioned prompted Sharpe to respond by sharing the true reason he went to SSU.
“I went to an HBCU, but only because I was prop 48. It worked out gr8 for me. Had I had the grades coming out of hs. I wouldn’t haven’t chosen an HBCU,” he tweeted.
I went to an HBCU, but only because I was prop 48. It worked out gr8 for me. Had I had the grades coming out of hs. I wouldn’t haven’t chosen an HBCU. https://t.co/dC2sFXB4iT
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) December 4, 2022
In 1986, Prop 48 was a rule the NCAA acquired that required high school athletes to get a certain score on standardized college-entrance tests before they could participate in sports their freshman year. According to Rolling Out, the rule unfairly affected Black athletes over time, as history and NCAA statistics show that only 51% of Black male athletes would have been eligible to play during the 1982 season if the rule was in place at the time.
In 2020, Sharpe shared his views on Fox College Football, explaining why staying at SSU for undergrad was one of the greatest decisions he made after contemplating leaving to go to the University of Miami. At the time, he believed he would’ve received more exposure at the PWI. But according to HBCU Gameday, his coach told him that if he’s good enough, they’ll find him anywhere.
Sharpe went on to play for the Denver Broncos after being selected in the 1990 NFL Draft. He played 14 seasons, and in 2010, he was inducted into the SSU Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.