Deion Sanders Faces Backlash From University of Colorado Players in Transfer Portal

A dozen and a half student-athletes from the University of Colorado Boulder recently transferred, leaving head coach Deion Sanders the opportunity to obtain the players he wants.

According to Eleven Warriors, 18 football players from Colorado entered the transfer portal April 24, increasing the number of players leaving the program to 31 within the past two weeks, and a total of 42 since Coach Prime came on board as the team’s head football coach.

“With 18 more Colorado football players entering the transfer portal today alone, the number of players who have transferred since Deion Sanders told CU’s players to “go ahead and jump in the portal” in his first team meeting is now 41.”

Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders of the NLF 100 All-Time Team is honored on the field prior to Super Bowl LIV. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Late last year, after the University of Colorado announced Sanders as the new head coach, 13 students from the class of 2023 had their scholarships revoked. At the official press conference, the former NFL cornerback told the players in attendance that some of them should enter the transfer portal because he was recruiting his own players. 

“You all know that we’re going to move on from some of the team members, and we’re going to reload and get some kids that we really identify with,” Sanders said following Saturday’s spring game. He continued, “This process is going to be quick, and it’s going to be fast, but we’re going to get it done.”

USA Today reported that to allow new players to be placed on the team roster under the 85-scholarship roster limit, Sanders would need a certain number of players already on the football squad to leave the team, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

But the moves have come with controversy as several players have been outspoken due to what some deem as blunt and possibly harsh assessments Coach Prime revealed to them.

Former Colorado player, Travis Gray said that Sanders shared that he hopes he has “a great future, it just won’t be here at the University of Colorado.’”

According to CBS Sports, another former player, who spoke to The Atlantic said the coaching staff treated the old players differently than the ones who were newly recruited to the team.

“None of the new coaches would talk to the old players and treat us the same as the people they brought in,” said Zach Courtney. “The new guys wouldn’t be picked on as much in film. Coaches would tell them to just do better, but if it was an old player, they’d keep going off on what you did wrong and keep yelling about it.”

Another player, Jeremy Mack, Jr. also spoke of Sanders’ blunt assessment, “Coach Prime just told me up front, ‘We have plans to go another way. You competed. You did everything we wanted you to this spring, and you fought. That was my first meeting with Coach Prime since I’ve been here.”

Sanders’ vision for team is based on his success as the former head coach at Jackson State University. He left JSU with a winning record of 27-5 over three seasons and joined the University of Colorado’s football program, which had a losing record of 1-11 last season.