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Deion Sanders, Florida State football coach: How crazy of an idea is that?

Roundtable: Was this just Friday afternoon internet clickbait or an idea worth Seminole consideration?
In this 1987 file photo, Deion Sanders stands on the field during a game against the Florida Gators in Gainesville. [ALLEN DEAN STEELE  |  Tampa Bay Times]
In this 1987 file photo, Deion Sanders stands on the field during a game against the Florida Gators in Gainesville. [ALLEN DEAN STEELE | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 9, 2019

Well, Jerry Jones thinks Deion Sanders “can be a great coach.” Maybe Jerry will hire him to replace Jason Garrett if the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs.

Or, if you believe this published report, maybe Florida State will hire him to replace Willie Taggart.

Note: Sanders has never coached in college or the NFL. That said, how crazy is the idea. We convened a Tampa Bay Times Sports roundtable to consider the question:

About Deion’s coaching experience

Matt Baker, college football writer, @MBakerTBTimes: FSU wants a proven coach who can fix the discipline issues that plagued the last two regimes. Deion Sanders is not proven, and his coaching experience consists of his time at his now-defunct charter school that was besieged by scandals. So no. No no no. And for good measure, no.

Willie would be for it

John Romano, columnist, @romano_tbtimes: The only person who should be in favor of hiring Deion Sanders is Willie Taggart. After one season of Deion, FSU fans will look longingly and lovingly at Taggart’s reign.

Maybe as FSU’s CEO

Joey Knight, USF beat writer, @TBTimes_Bulls: For a few years now, the idea of hiring both a CEO and on-field head coach for big-time college programs has been tossed around, with varying levels of seriousness. Let one guy be the program’s face, mouthpiece and lead recruiter, and have another proven strategist handle the X’s and O’s on game day. If FSU’s willing to serve as the nation’s litmus test for such an approach, let Deion be the CEO and have a proven coach manage games. I can see Deion raking in recruits with his swagger and stories of yesteryear. I cannot see him poring over game film every night ‘til 1 a.m.

In other news ...

Ernest Hooper, assistant sports editor-pro sports, @hoop4you:Coach, can you explain why you think this will work when you’ve never coached a team? Coach, can we build our personal brand instead of focusing on team? Coach, can you help me come up with a cool nickname for my persona? Coach, if we’re going pro after this season, do we have to go to class? Coach, if we’re going pro after this game, can we show up at Doak Campbell in a limousine?”

That’s all I’m saying.

In other news, Luther Campbell to take over the Hurricanes.

It’s not a great idea. It’s the GREATEST idea

Thomas Bassinger, sports data reporter, @tometrics: I love this idea. Love it, love it, love it. Pour some gasoline on the FSU dumpster fire. I’m not even sure Deion Sanders watches football. Remember last year when All-Pro Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard responded via Twitter to one of Sanders’ bad takes and Sanders replied, “You’re looking at who writers tell u who’s the best I know who players and former players feel is the best. I rest my case. You continue to be a fan and i will continue being the man.” Sanders thought Byard — one of the best safeties in the NFL — was a fan! This is too delicious of a storyline to be true.

Look who broke the ‘story’

Rick Stroud, Bucs beat writer, @NFLStroud: No surprise this “story,” was broken by Deion Sanders’ employer, the NFL Network. This may be a bucket list wish for Sanders, but how does hiring someone who has never coached at a high level makes sense. Discipline is an issue. Sanders is NOT the guy you hire to clean up a program with an eye toward a long-term solution.

FSU can’t afford to miss

Eduardo A. Encina, Bucs beat writer/pro sports enterprise, @EddieintheYard: If Florida State is serious about Deion Sanders, the Seminoles are clearly not interested in wins. They can’t miss on this hire, and while Prime Time might get some people excited, most have to know that his lack of sideline and recruiting experience makes this a really bad idea from the start.


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