Deion Sanders, Jackson State’s football coach, revealed on ESPN Saturday that the school is already discussing conference realignment.
For Jackson State and other notable HBCU programs, the question is whether to stay in the same conference or leave and seek national prominence elsewhere.
“What are our plans?” Sanders inquired, as per usual. “Whether or not we wish to stick to tradition is a question we must answer. Or do we want to place ourselves in a position where our school is financially stable? That’s an important consideration to make while weighing your options. Some schools will provide a wide range of alternatives to choose from. Everyone is already discussing it.”
MEAC and SWAC are the only two Division I HBCU conferences that currently have all HBCUs. There are no HBCU colleges playing in the FBS. “You refer to it as readjustment. Chase the bag is exactly what you’re doing “Sanders commented. This pursuit of the bag is all they’re doing, she said.
The Colonial Athletic Association welcomed Hampton and North Carolina A&T earlier this month as the first two historically black colleges and universities to join. While Jackson State is a member of the Southeastern Conference, the Ohio Valley Conference includes longstanding foe Tennessee State. The SWAC has had Jackson State as a member since 1958.
At the Clarion Ledger, athletic director Ashley Robinson stated that he is focused on dominating FCS before JSU takes stock of its current position. However, Jackson State has major momentum that might make it an attractive contender for other conferences, with JSU football shattering the FCS record with an average attendance of 42,293, and with the nation’s top prospect Travis Hunter due to make his Jackson State debut this fall.
Sanders paused before continuing, “Everything with realignment is all about…” “As a head coach, I’m trying to be diplomatic, but they’re just trying to make a buck, dude. The fact that everyone is working hard to ensure that their initiative succeeds isn’t a problem for me. In addition, I want our program to thrive.”
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