Sometimes during the holiday season you can’t help but splurge on a big gift that you don’t quite have the money for just yet, so you put it on a credit card (or layaway) and deal with it later.
That apparently is also how Colorado approached the hiring of Deion Sanders. Coach Prime is taking his talents from Jackson, Mississippi to Boulder, Colorado, making official what had been rumored for weeks late Saturday night after Jackson State won the SWAC title. While he didn’t give his buddy Rob Jay a ride to Colorado, he did arrive in style and had a press conference on Sunday where he talked about trying to open doors for other HBCU coaches at the FBS level, his expectations for the Buffs, and even introduced his son, Shadeur, as the new quarterback in Boulder, confirming the former 4-star recruit will transfer from Jackson State to Colorado.
However, the part of the press conference that made the most waves wasn’t anything said by Deion, but instead came from Colorado AD Rick George, who was asked about the 5-year, $29.5 million deal they gave Sanders which is the biggest in program history. George admitted they didn’t have all the money for the contract just yet, but that they would.
Colorado AD Rick George was asked how CU came up with the money to hire Deion Sanders. He said, “We don’t have the money yet, but I know we’ll have it, so I’m not worried about that piece.” #cubuffs
— Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) December 4, 2022
This raised a lot of eyebrows because you don’t often hear someone say they don’t have money for someone’s contract just yet very often, and while I’m sure he’s referring to the full five year amount — and it should be noted he was fully confident that the money was coming their way — it’s still very funny to hear. As such, folks from around college football had jokes about the Buffs putting Coach Prime’s contract on their credit card and worrying about it later.
lol CU is just like me i’ll worry about the money part later https://t.co/Wkww8OHsSl
— Kristen “rock chalk football school”B (@Kristenb23) December 5, 2022
Colorado hired Prime on credit https://t.co/CW108MEAlC
— Dave Scull (@BiggestBiscuit) December 5, 2022
wait a minute… they gave deion a postdated check?!?! https://t.co/KD1aIhNXgr
— in charge of the girls (@AmeriKraut) December 5, 2022
I know this probably isn’t actually anything to worry about. I also know that this *sounds* like the last thing you want to hear your AD say. Like he’ll be able to pay his coaches just as soon as this NFT side hustle starts paying off or something. https://t.co/WGIrCRbLGO
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) December 5, 2022
Somebody check this man’s credit rating https://t.co/b4hru0mERN
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) December 5, 2022
Klarna payments for a coach is crazy https://t.co/SqiHM1R17Q
— taraji p henchmen (@theeluvvbelow) December 5, 2022
After the waiter says they have to put the whole table on the same bill. https://t.co/WZvqiY0UqZ
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) December 5, 2022
Not CU putting Prime on layaway! https://t.co/KfDUFuJ4JK
— Adam Jacobi (@adam_jacobi) December 5, 2022
This is the most American tweet I’ve ever seen https://t.co/uOuqUAmmpb
— brandie (@brandieeemac) December 5, 2022
— JoyJoy (@happyhappywho) December 5, 2022
As SI reporter Ross Dellenger noted, this is actually an oddly common process for college athletic departments, but still not one most ADs say out loud in public.
It is actually somewhat normal – and also alarming – how much athletic departments are fueled by *pledges* from donors and not actual cash on hand.
(I mean, you guys really don’t think these school collectives have $10-20 million in NIL *on hand* right?) https://t.co/La80K2Uisn
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 5, 2022