Coach Prime Blasts ‘Feel Good’ Culture In Interview On How He Turned CU Into ‘Epicenter’ Of Football
BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 16: Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes walks on the field as players warm up before a game against the Colorado State Rams at Folsom Field on September 16, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado.
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Colorado Football Head Coach Deion Sanders — commonly referred to as “Coach Prime” — continued to be the dominant topic of conversation in the world of sports over the weekend as he led the Buffaloes to a 3-0 record after a double overtime win against in-state rival Colorado State in a game that ESPN said was “college football’s most thrilling game of the young season”

Numerous major celebrities attended the late-night Saturday game in Boulder to cheer on the 18th-ranked Buffs, including actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups, Miami Heat star Kyle Lowry, and rappers Lil Wayne, Offset, Key Glock and Master P.

ESPN’s College GameDay and Fox Sports both hosted their college football shows from Boulder. CBS News’ “60 Minutes” was also in town during the week to do a segment on the impact that Sanders is having at the program.

The Colorado State Rams played a dirty game, amassing 17 penalties for nearly 200 yards, including approximately eight personal fouls. Among the personal fouls was a dangerous targeting hit against Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who is a top Heisman Trophy contender, and a separate late hit against WR/CB Travis Hunter that sent Hunter to the hospital with a reported lacerated liver. Hunter is widely considered to be one of the best players in college football to the point where top NFL players wear shirts of him.

NBA legend LeBron James’ last four tweets have all been about the team, including the illegal hit on Hunter and the performance from Coach Prime’s two sons: Shedeur Sanders and Shilo Sanders, a defensive back who returned an interception for a touchdown early in the game.

Colorado underperformed for much of the game and found themselves in an 11-point hole during the fourth quarter. After kicking a field goal to get the game to an eight-point deficit, CU got the ball back on their own two-yard line with just over two minutes left. They took it 98 yards for a touchdown in just over a minute of gameplay and they made the two-point conversion to tie the game. During overtime, Shedeur Sanders threw for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Colorado State was unable to score during the second overtime and the Buffs won 43-35.

The “60 Minutes” interview then aired Sunday night on CBS News in which Coach Prime revealed that the one coach he looks up to is Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Coach Prime also touched on how he forced change so rapidly in the program and took a team that was legitimately one of the worst teams in college football last year with a 1-11 record to a 3-0 start this year and ranked #19 in the country. “60 Minutes” said that the University of Colorado was now “the unlikely epicenter” of the entire sport.

At the first meeting with the team in December, before he brought in over 60 new players to the program, Coach Prime encouraged players to get in the transfer portal and leave because better athletes were on their way.

“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,” he said. “And I came to the conclusion that a multitude of them couldn’t help us get to where we wanted to go.”

“60 Minutes” seemed surprised that Coach Prime told the players who stayed behind that his goal was going to be trying to make them quit.

“Now, if you went for that, if you were able to let words run you off, you ain’t for us because we’re an 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.”

The news show suggested that Sanders’ “straight talk” might not be appreciated by everyone and that his scorched-earth policy might be too much.

“I think truth is good for kids. We’re so busy lyin’, we don’t even recognize the truth no more in society,” he said. “We want everybody to feel good. That’s not — 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.”

The news show host asked Coach Prime what he would tell his own kids if they got a new head coach and the coach told them what he told the team in December.

“I’d say, ‘Son, … 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.”

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