Entering his third season at the helm of the JSU Tigers, “Coach Prime” revealed the news in an Instagram video on July 18.
Ahead of the upcoming college football season, Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders is putting his money where his mouth is. The NFL icon and Pro Football Hall of Famer turned HBCU head football coach is donating half his salary to help complete ongoing efforts to upgrade Jackson State’s football facilities.
Coach Prime promised as much in an Instagram video posted by “Thee Pregame Show,” for which he toured the football facilities with Constance Schwartz-Morini, his business partner and CEO of SMAC Entertainment:
In the video Schwartz challenges Sanders donate a quarter of his salary ($75,000) to JSU, and she reminds him, “Part of your salary is part of my salary, so this is a team.” Sanders gets hyped up. “To get this done for these kids, I’ll put half on it,” he says. “If you don’t believe me, check me! I will send you the receipts.”
Sanders signed a four-year deal worth $1.2 million overall and $300,000 annually in 2020.
The renovations and new additions at Jackson State include an upgrade to Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center “to be a standard bearer among NCAA mid-major athletic programs.” The plans also include “[maintaining] and [upkeeping]” the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium (where Jackson State’s football team plays) for the next three-to-five years. Coach Prime’s donation is expected to help push the project to the finish line, which is scheduled for completion by Aug. 4.
Jackson State will kick off its season against fellow HBCU titan Florida A&M on Sept. 4 in Miami at the Orange Blossom Classic. Coach Prime and the Tigers will aim to start the defense of their SWAC title off right and kick-start their quest to avenge their Celebration Bowl loss to close out 2021.