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Deion Sanders takes "rent checks" problem public, asks Gov. Tate Reeves to help

Coach Prime is calling on his "friend," Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves for help

Deion Sanders has wedged himself and his Jackson State Tigers’ football program into all circles since he arrived atop the program almost two years ago.

So it’s probably no surprise that Sanders both considers Mississippi’s republican governor, Tate Reeves, a friend and also is willing to publicly implore Reeves’ help in what Sanders sees as major issue at his school and other Historically Black Colleges and University programs.

“I got a problem and this somewhat of a sensitive issue, only to those whom are sensitive,” Sanders says in a video uploaded to Thee Pregame Show YouTube channel. “This happens at a multitude of HBCUs. How do I know that? Because I’ve spoken to a multitude of coaches and other persons that are at HBCUs. The refund checks.

“I spoke about this several months ago and still to no avail. And it’s bothering me. Governor Reeves can you help with this issue? How is it fathomable that our refund checks for our kids are consistently late but the checks for the administrators are consistently on time?”

Per multiple Southwestern Athletic Conference coaches who spoke with FootballScoop, the refund checks that Sanders mentions “are a legit problem.”

“Essentially it has to do with kids off campus not getting the housing portion of their scholarships until like October,” says one high-ranking SWAC coach, “and then they’re having to figure out rent.”

Sanders spoke to this issue.

“I just need to know, because here’s the problem: I sit with a parent and say I’m going to take in your child and we’re going to make sure your child is secure,” Sanders says on the three-minute video. “And still refund checks are consistently late. Now the child calls the parent needing money and the parent has to overextend themselves or the child has to go to the bank and take out a loan to pay rent on money that they should already have.

“I’ve got a problem with that. Because I’m not asking for more than, I’m just asking for you to do what you said you would do.”

Sanders then issues his personal, public plea to Reeves, voted into office in Mississippi in 2020.

“Governor Reeves, you’re a friend. I adore you,” Sanders says. “I need you to tell me where is the shortcoming coming from? Did I say that right? Where is this disconnect coming from? Is it from the state, the government or is it from the school campuses, those administrators? I need to know because it’s affecting us.

“I was just at the SWAC meeting, one coach told me he lost a few kids because of this situation and we can’t have that. It’s already, now the numbers are coming back to HBCUs in the kids, we already dealing with housing. Now we can’t deal with this as well because we have momentum. And we’ve got to keep our momentum so we need to get these checks out on time to these kids. And guess what? Three of them are mine. And you know that ain’t happening, because now they’re bothering me about something they should already have. Thank God I got it, but I’m looking out and speaking out for those parents that may not, that are budgeting their life. Somebody help me bring solvency to this consistent and continuous problem.”

Since his arrival at Jackson State, Sanders has consistently and continually elevated the conversation around HBCU schools – athletics and otherwise. His program recently was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and Sanders oftentimes taps into his considerable national media connections to speak on behalf of his program and to speak out about what he perceives as slights at that level.

The defending SWAC champion Tigers open their 2022 season Sept. 4 in Miami against Florida A&M, the game that kicks off Sanders’s second full season at the helm. Sanders has compiled a 15-5 record through his first 20 games as Jackson State’s head coach.