College football long has had its separate divisions, from the non-scholarship programs of NCAA Division III football to the flush-with-cash power brokers of the Football Bowls Subdivision and levels in between.
Now Deion Sanders, the second-year college coach at Football Championship Subdivision and tradition-rich Historically Black College and University program Jackson State, wants levels in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“The conversation is that the Hall of Fame ain’t the Hall of Fame no more,” Sanders said in a laughing but fiery message from his JSU office and posted to YouTube. “I love it, I respect it, I admire it; I think all the guys who are inducted definitely are deserving, but it needs to be a different color jacket. My jacket gotta be a different color. Hmm-mmm.”
Sanders wasn’t finished.
“It needs to be a starting 11, need to be an upper room, my head don’t belong with some of these other heads that’s in the Hall of Fame,” said Sanders, who won 11 games in his first full season atop the Tigers’ program and led them to the SWAC title. “Put my head, what they call him a bust? I call em a head. Put my head where my head supposed to be. My head not supposed to be down here. I’m sorry, I’m just being honest. I’m just saying what y’all are thinking and a lot of y’all Hall of Famers are thinking the same thing. This is becoming a free-for-all now. If you play good, no it ain’t good. It’s people who changed the game. That’s what the Hall of Fame is, a game-changer. Not ‘I played good, I had a good little run, I gave you three or four good years.’ No, dog.
“Game-changers. Put my head where my head supposed to be. No. I’m just saying … what some of y’all are thinking? …
“Who votes on this stuff?”
The NFL just recently held its annual Hall of Fame preseason exhibition contest in Canton, Ohio, and enshrined its latest class of inductees. The 55-year-old Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and also is a College Football Hall of Fame inductee.