In a taping of his Barstool podcast — which is still taking some getting used to for a Division I head coach — Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders hosted Bo Jackson, and the coach invited the Heisman winner down to Jackson to speak to his team.
“I’m not bragging, it is a blessing, I have corporations that pay me to come around the country and speak to their employees or at their seminars,” Jackson said, via the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “I’m going to say this to you, Deion. I’m going to wait for you to invite me down to come to speak to your boys. On the house, the only thing I’ll accept is you get me there.”
Jackson is indeed a regular public speaker. It’s impossible to get an exact figure on his price, but various registries estimate his fee between $30,000 and $100,000. There we have him offer to speak to Jackson State for free.
That’s very generous of Bo, but it raises a question: Can he do that?
I wondered if that in-kind donation would make Bo a booster to the Jackson State program and/or if the NCAA would consider a commercial service offered at no cost to be an impermissible benefit to the program.
And the answer, at least among the compliance directors I spoke with, is that it depends.
One source FootballScoop spoke with believed Jackson would be approved to speak to the Tigers under his interpretation of Bylaw 13.02.15.
“Interpretation is the right word,” said another compliance director. “I would reach out to the LSDBi and do some CYA.” The LSDBi refers to the Legislative Services Database, a resource for compliance professionals to reach out to NCAA headquarters and receive guidance.
“I would have it documented that I was asking for permission. You’re much better off asking for permission than forgiveness with the NCAA,” he said. The compliance director added one thing that might make a potential Bo Jackson visit more palatable in the NCAA’s eyes would be if his speech was available to all Jackson State students, not just the football team. “That might pull you into shallower water,” he said.
Other compliance professionals might come to different conclusions based on different precedent and bylaw interpretations. The compliance handbook is like the legal code in that regard.
One thing is certain: Jackson State’s compliance staff will work muscles they didn’t know they had following around and reining in a head coach wandering into gray areas he may or may not know exists.
Elsewhere in the world of Deion:
The latest episode of 21st & Prime found Deion stumbling into this philosophical point while discussing Kyrie Irving’s departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers:
“A guy that wants to be the man will never be the man, because the guy that’s the man don’t want to be the man because he is the man. Oh God, that was good,” he said. “The guy that wants to be the man will never be the man because you can’t want to be what you already are. Now, the guy that is the man, he don’t ever want to be the man because he is the man.”
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IM GIVING YALL SO MUCH FREE GAME ITS RIDICULOUS! Y’all need to listen close and take notes because COACH PRIME don’t just teach & reach athletes! #COACHPRIME is here for you ALL! It comes naturally, we didn’t ask for this but we got it. IF WE WERE IN CHURCH THE ORGAN WOULD’VE HIT ME HARD AFTER THAT FIRE I JUST SPIT! 🤷🏾🙏🏾💯🔥. @21standprime @barstoolsports Episode 11 of 21st and Prime now available
We reached out to North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz to get his thoughts on the Kyrie and Kevin Durant pairing on the Brooklyn Nets and were told, “What are you talking about?”
(That was a joke.)
Sanders has landed two commits since becoming Coach Prime: Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines defensive tackle Braezhon Ross and Mississippi Gulf Coast defensive end Jammie White, in addition to Mississippi State transfer Javorrius Selmon. Ross is rated 3-stars by 247Sports and White is not rated.
Sanders, who still has not announced his staff despite promising to do so this month, is on the verge of a major flip: his son.
Shedeur Sanders plays quarterback on the Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Christian team that Deion still coaches for, and is currently a 4-star member of Florida Atlantic’s class.
Sanders the Younger committed to Willie Taggart’s FAU staff on July 13, and he’s still officially a member of the Owls’ class. But experts are anticipating a Jackson State flip, which could theoretically come at any moment.
Trinity Christian, 5-3 on the season, is in Mississippi to play Clarksdale on Friday. This was posted to Deion’s Instagram account on Thursday.
At No. 229 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Shedeur Sanders would be the highest-rated recruit in FCS.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.