University of Colorado football coach Deion Sanders says tough talk and truth are rare but necessary.
“There was a tremendous amount of adversity tonight and we overcame it. We started out playing like hot garbage but we got it done in the end,” Sanders said afterward.
During an interview on “60 Minutes,” the former Dallas Cowboys star defended his tactic after arriving at Colorado from Jackson State of telling many of the players for his school to transfer out, something about 50 players would later do.
“You take a team that’s won one game, and you fire the whole coaching staff. So, who did the coaching staff recruit? The kids. So, the kids are just as much to blame as the coaching staff. And I came to the conclusion that a multitude of them couldn’t help us get to where we wanted to go,” Sanders said.
Sanders said that telling players that he would make life hard on them was a strategy.
“Now, if you went for that, if you were able to let words run you off, you ain’t for us because we’re a old-school staff,” he said.
“We coach hard. We coach tough. We’re disciplinarians. So, if you’re allowing verbiage to run you off because you don’t feel secure with your ability, you ain’t for us,” he said.
”I’m sure that your straight talk was appreciated by some. But, is this scorched-earth policy good for college football or for the kids?” interviewer Jon Wertheim asked.
“I think truth is good for kids. We’re so busy lyin’, we don’t even recognize the truth no more in society,” Sanders replied.
“We want everybody to feel good. That’s not the way life is. Now, it is my job to make sure I have what we need to win. That makes a lot of people feel good. Winning does,” he said.
Wertheim said he needed to “push back,” asking Sanders if he would want his children, who are college athletes, to be told by a coach to transfer.
“I’d say, ‘Son, you must be … you must not be doin’ well,” Sanders said.
“’You, you must not be doin’ well because you should be an asset and not a liability.’ I’m honest with my kids,” Sanders said.
“[T]here’s an excitement there. I think there’s a swagger. There’s a cool factor to all of this. And, you know, there’s a lot of people in the coaching community and in the world of college football that don’t like Deion, that are rooting against Deion, and he’s winning in spite of them and let them hear about it on the way. And there’s not a lot of people that operate and conduct themselves that way. And I think he causes a lot of people to gravitate toward him,” he said.
“[T]he way that he conducts himself and the swagger and the big talk and all that stuff, I think fans – that doesn’t really rub them the right way. So you’re gaining all of this notoriety within the sport, and then you win on top of that, and then you let people hear about it. It’s sort of a perfect storm of something that we literally have never seen in this sport before,” he said.
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