I see the argument in a few places that Coach Deion Sanders said that he would elevate HBCUs. That he was sent from God on a divine appointment. Like most fans who are angry with Coach Sanders, some believe that he said that he would elevate HBCUs and his leaving marks the end of that work. A work that most believe is incomplete. However, the real question is did he not lift HBCUs and make a significant positive impact during his time at Jackson State. If you speak to the SWAC commissioner, he would tell you that this year marked one of the highest earning years for the SWAC in their history. The SWAC struck TV deals and significantly more HBCU games we’re made available on television then in past seasons. Most media outlets wanted their hands in the HBCU world, including ESPN and the NFL Network. If you ask NFL Network analyst Steve Wyche he would tell you blatantly, that’s the Prime Effect. From here let’s look at a list of other things Coach Prime did while at Jackson State to elevate HBCUs.
1) He brought over $30 million in revenue to the city of Jackson, Mississippi his first year there (learn this from an interview with a group called Visit Jackson)
2) He made Jackson State’s training facilities and locker room one of the best in black college football by donating half of salary to the program. https://youtu.be/4JNuXnRu8qE
3) He brought College GameDay to an HBCU.
4) He made HBCU coaches BOLDER by pulling the top recruit in the nation to an HBCU and challenging High School Coaches to treat him and other HBCUs the same way they treat PWI coaches by giving them FULL ACCESS the 4 and 5 Star players.
5) He validated the fact that the Celebration Bowl (the NCAA sanctioned HBCU Bowl Game) was the best game for HBCUs (over the FCS playoffs), bring more buy in to that game and revenue. https://youtu.be/b41vR8Y63H4
6) He brought tons of celebrities to the school and held major events at Jackson State like the XFL Showcase Recruiting Event. https://youtu.be/VC8o_Ddrx-s
7) He used his platform to bring light to problems at and raise money for Mississippi Valley State. https://youtu.be/bq_Xc-eC-iA
8) He even challenged the NFL to draft more HBCU players.
9) He had HBCUs in the national spotlight almost weekly on shows like Undisputed.
Yes there is SO much more work to be done, but did he leave HBCUs better than he found it… YES… did HBCUs positively impact him … Yes. The work is not finished, but he is finished with his part.