Deion Sanders has shared the backstory on what he says “was like the first NIL” deal.
In an interview on the Club Shay Shay podcast, Coach Prime recalled a moment during his student-athlete days at Florida State University. As he went into his junior year, he signed a contract with the New York Yankees which he says led to a hefty payout.
“I had [$250,000] going into my senior year,” Sanders told host Shannon Sharpe. “The Yankees paid my tuition and I was a walk-on. So, I could stunt like no other because you couldn’t challenge me.”
Sanders explained that he felt he had the right to flex with his purchases around that time due to the caliber of his talent.
“I had played six weeks in the summer and made a ton of money,” he said. “And then, I know I’m going to be a top-five pick in the draft going into my senior year. So, it was a lovely day. And I had a crib, owned a golf course in Tallahassee, a condo and I had my dorm room. So, I was living.”
Sanders’ son, Shedeur Sanders, has gone on to follow in his footsteps.
He became the second college athlete to join Gatorade, following Paige Bueckers. What’s more, he joined the likes of sports stars Serena Williams, J.J. Watt, Zion Williamson, Trevor Lawrence, DK Metcalf, Candace Parker, Jayson Tatum, and more.
“It’s an honor to join the Gatorade Family and represent this historic moment for HBCU athletes,” said Shedeur, at the time. “I can’t wait to work with Gatorade on and off the field to help create even more opportunities for HBCU students and athletes.”