Deion Sanders Has One Major Issue With NIL: ‘I Don’t Want Players To Be Filthy Rich’

Deion Sanders on XM radio during Super Bowl week.

Getty Image

Deion Sanders is a coach who’s taken full advantage of the recent changes in college football. The Colorado head coach has completely flipped his roster thanks to the transfer portal, bringing in newcomers from all across the country to play for the Buffaloes.

Along with that portal success, Coach Prime has leveraged NIL as a way of luring talent to Boulder. On Monday, he talked about changes to the sport, as well as what he sees as its largest problem.

Recruiting is nothing new to Sanders. While he’s only been a head coach for a short time at the collegiate level, his ability to build relationships is second to none.

That, combined with his status as one of the greatest defenders in NFL history, has allowed him to land talent at both FCS school Jackson State and a Colorado program fresh off of a one-win season.

And it didn’t come without competition.

As recently as last week, Coach Prime spoke on the ridiculous amounts of money programs were offering to pull his star players into the transfer portal. Most notably, he claims that top cornerback Travis Hunter had offers up to $1.5 million, which he subsequently turned down.

This week, he talked a bit about his issues in what seems to be the Wild, Wild West of college athletics.

Sanders has no problem with players profiting off of NIL. He does, however, take issue with the collectives.

“NIL is not a problem with me,” Sanders said while speaking with Joel Klatt of Fox Sports. “Collectives are… Collectives, you could be Tom, Dick, Harry and Larry and you just put a bag together, boosters or whatever, whoever does it, and try to solicit these kids to come to your university. Who is that helping?

“I want the kid to get compensated, I want the kid to be straight, by all means. But you’ve gotta balance the fine line. Is he still going to want it like that when you’ve just given him that and he didn’t have to earn it?”

This take falls in line with many of his thoughts about the current generation. Nothing is earned, all is promised.

He also went on to say that players aren’t picking the right schools or schemes, instead selling themselves to the highest bidder. In many cases, he states that bad advice from those that don’t have the player’s best interests in mind contribute to those decisions.

“These kids have agents, man. Not only agents, they’ve got their homies who’s representing them, who’s just trying to use them and playing them. They don’t go to the school that they should go to. They don’t even ask questions about the defense or the offense or the scheme or the personnel or how are you going to use me.”

Like many around college football, including Nick Saban, Sanders would like to see some parameters placed on NIL.

“I want them to be comfortable. I don’t want them to be filthy rich. I’m not going to lie to you,” Sanders continued. “Because I don’t want [NIL] taking away from [football]. … I want you to get that NFL bag.”

Many have been critical of Coach Prime’s approach to roster management, but many seem to be on his side in this case.

One fan wrote, “I agree with him here. No problem with a student making money off their image with advertising or something like that but collectives are basically, ‘Come here and get x amount of money.'”

Of course, there were those that disagreed.

This person asked, “Can’t afford the Louis?” while another commented, “He’s coming… but the boosters ain’t coming with him.”

Agree or disagree, one thing is certain. Until we see some sort of legislation on NIL, the bidding wars will continue.