Eddie George vs. Deion Sanders: HBCU Football’s Newest Rivalry Begins
Irwin Kishner, co-chair of Herrick's Sports Law Group, was quoted in a Boardroom article regarding the growth of HBCU football teams, specifically two of the teams at the helm of this growth spurt: Jackson State University and Tennessee State University football teams. The article explained that the world of HBCU football is "getting bigger" with more games on national television, schools moving conferences and former NFL stars becoming head coaches.
"Having George and Sanders as coaches in itself brings a certain glamour to the game," said Kishner, adding, "This has created some sort of buzz, and hopefully for them, it translates into more eyeballs, more attention, more recruits, more donations, and so forth."
The article notes that the Tigers of Mississippi have been "a spectacle of college football ever since Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was hired as head coach last year." Sanders has also spoken out about bringing change to HBCUs, increasing their exposure and pushing them to the forefront. This includes the premiere the Coach Prime video series detailing the life of the players and coaches at Jackson State. "If they succeed or if they do moderately well a show that garners national interest should have a very positive effect," said Irwin. "There’s a whole cycle and system that’s created if you’re able to get a higher recruiting class. You’ll get better TV deals, better streaming deals, better sponsorship deals, better facilities, and more money."
Former Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George also recently took the reins of Tennessee State University. As the article states, "one thing will have a truly lasting impact for both schools at the end of the day: winning."
Kishner noted, "Let’s not undersell it. Having a winning program is going to garner attention." He further explained, "If one of these programs starts to take off and becomes undefeated or has real legitimate stars on the program that go relatively high in the draft, that in it of itself will produce great things."
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