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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Former NFL Player Channing Crowder Apologizes to Deion Sanders for Saying HBCUs Can't Attract Star Talent

The former Miami Dolphins linebacker spoke a little too soon.

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Screenshot: The Pivot

Despite the fact that in recent years, we’ve seen more and more top recruits opt to attend HBCUs in favor of big-name college programs, former NFL player Channing Crowder wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid when he broached the subject in May with Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders.

“I’ll tell you now, I’m not against HBCU’s, I’m not a hater or whatever,” Crowder told Sanders on the I Am Athlete podcast. “But Prime, I went to Florida. What Florida can give a kid with the dorms, with the training tables, with the exposure, with the 100,000 people in the game…y’all cannot compete with the teams that’s got so much resources. Those Power-Five, Prime, you cannot compete with those Power-Five schools.”

While there are plenty of detractors who would be inclined to agree, it was Sanders who would eventually make Crowder eat crow when he pulled the heist of the century in December by getting five-star cornerback Travis Hunter, the No. 1 football recruit in the country, to de-commit from Florida State in order to play for Jackson State.

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So after wiping all of the egg, shock, and awe from his face, Crowder was forced to retract his egregious statement on a recent episode of The Pivot podcast—and it was ESPN personality Ryan Clark who personally ensured that he did so.

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“Deion wins the SWAC [championship],” Clark began. “He’s got [his sons] Shilo and Shedeur over there. He also just pulled the No. 1 recruit in the country. And if I can think back correctly, if I can get back to my mental Rolodex, there was somebody who said he wasn’t gonna be able to compete with the Power-Five schools. It wasn’t me. I didn’t say it.”

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That’s when Crowder offered his mea culpa.

“I want to apologize because I said that. I did. and it was very strong,” he said. “I said there’s not going to be a top recruit that chooses an HBCU over a Power-Five school and I want to apologize to Deion because he did pull him. As Deion, he did pull Travis Hunter to an HBCU.”

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That he did.

And according to the Clarion-Ledger, the Hall of Fame cornerback also had the No. 55 recruiting class in the nation last season, which ranked higher than Duke, South Carolina, Wake Forrest, Illinois, and other FBS schools. So with his resounding success at the college ranks, one can’t help but wonder how long Sanders will stick around before pursuing greener pastures—which Crowder made note of.

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“I do have a but,” he said after offering his apology. “I just don’t know if Deion is going to be there [long enough] for Travis Hunter to graduate.”

You can check out the full episode of The Pivot below.