Sports fans have accurately observed that many of the athletes in today’s generation act with an air of entitlement and selfishness. It appears that fans are not the only ones to take notice of this trend.
Colorado Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders isn’t just displeased that the next wave of athletes acts in such a self-centered manner, he’s disgusted by it.
“We have a kind of society today that loves to take. Loves to take. Loves to take. It’s not a society that loves to give. It’s a society that loves to take. It’s a society that says, ‘What do you have for me?’ Not a society that says, ‘What can I do for you?’ Back in the day, it was just understood that we give before we have the expectation of getting,” Sanders said.
Sanders hit the bullseye with his assessment of culture, but what does that have to do with his professional or college athletics? The attitudes, positives, and problems in society at large are reflected in sports, and it's certainly true that many of today’s college athletes are wrapped up in this way of thinking as well.
Take the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals that have fundamentally changed college sports. Many high school athletes now make choices on which college to attend not on the educational reputation of the school or even which one has the best team, but on who gives them the most money.
"The academic side, that's not being discussed at all," Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association in Texas said last year. "The first question out of their mouth is 'How much money am I going to get?'"
This is a mentality that Sanders despises, and he told his players as much.
“I don’t know if many of you ever worked jobs, but back in the day, we had to work two weeks before we even saw a check,” Sanders said. “It was two weeks you had to put in before they even compensated you. You guys would never go for that these days because you’re so used to getting and not giving. So, we’re in an era where we have an expectation, but we don’t give for the expectation."
This man should write a book: "Prime Wisdom for Prime Living." Deion has the ability to relate to a younger generation, yet gives old-schooled wisdom and guidance to a generation that desperately needs it. This man always leaves a good impression when given the chance to speak…well, most of the time.
The Buffaloes are going to have to follow Sanders’ advice of working hard to the letter this Saturday, as they face their toughest test yet. Colorado will travel to Eugene to face the No. 10 Oregon Ducks at 3:30 on Saturday in what should be one of the biggest games of the college football season.
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