"You call it realignment.  You can actually call it chasing the bag,"  Deion Sanders said.

Conferences are ‘chasing the bag’

Jackson State is “already” speaking out about restructuring the conference, football coach Deion Sanders said Saturday on ESPN.

As HBCUs gain more national attention, Jackson State and other marquee HBCU programs must choose whether to stick together at the same convention or leave and try to rise up elsewhere.

“What do we want to do?” Sanders asked. “Do we want to sit back and follow tradition? Or do we want to put ourselves in a financial position where our school prosper? You really have to take those options into account and weigh those options. There are tremendous choices some of the schools are facing. We are already talking about that.”

All three Division I HBCUs currently play in the MEAC or SWAC, which consists entirely of HBCUs. There are no HBCU schools at the FBS level.

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No matter the level, restructuring the conference is about money, Sanders said.

“You call it realignment. You can actually call it chasing the bag,” Sanders said. “That’s all they’re doing, they’re chasing the bag.”

Earlier this month, Hampton and North Carolina A&T became the first HBCUs to join the Colonial Athletic Association. Tennessee State, Jackson State’s longtime rival, plays in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Jackson State has been a member of the SWAC since 1958.

"You call it realignment.  You can actually call it chasing the bag,"  Deion Sanders said.

“You call it realignment. You can actually call it chasing the bag,” Deion Sanders said.

Athletic director Ashley Robinson told Clarion Ledger that he is focused on dominating the FCS level before JSU reevaluates his position.

But, when JSU football broke the FCS record with an average attendance of 42,293, and the nation’s top prospect Travis Hunter made his Jackson State debut this fall, Jackson State has serious momentum that makes it a top-notch for other conferences. Can make attractive candidates.

“Everything with the realignment is everything…” Sanders said before pausing. “I’m trying to put it well because I’m a head coach now, but they’re trying to get money, man. Everyone’s trying to align themselves right so that their program prospers And I don’t mind. I want our program to prosper as well.”

This article originally appeared in the Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Deion Sanders: NCAA conventions with realignment on ‘Chasing the Bag’

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