Deion Sanders blasts Colorado Buffaloes players for behavior, highlights importance of academics

Colorado Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders
Credit: Chet Strange-USA TODAY Sports

Deion Sanders has made headlines this offseason for stating that his son Shedeur Sanders and two-way star Travis Hunter will only play for specific teams when they are eligible for the 2025 NFL Draft. However, the Colorado Buffaloes coach also sent a strong message to his players who won’t make it to the NFL.

In his first season as head coach at Colorado, the Buffaloes got off to an electric start. The team upset national championship runner-up TCU in a thrilling 45-42 opener then knocked out Nebraska and Colorado State to start the year 3-0. The Buffaloes then finished the season 4-8.

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As a player, Sanders was known for being extremely confident in his abilities and lavished in the fame and attention his play brought. He received more than $33 million in career earnings, per Spotrac, generating even more money thanks to his popularity through commercials, endorsement and other ventures.

However, the Hall of Fame cornerback knows that outcome is extremely rare. As data provided by NFL.com highlights, only 1.6 percent of NCAA football players make it to the professional level. Of that small group, as ESPN reported in 2026, the average NFL career lasts fewer than 4 years.

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That’s why when Sanders was informed by a professor at the University of Colorado that some of his players were doing so poorly in classes they wouldn’t even be draft-eligible, he ripped into the team.

As captured by Well off Media in First Day Outside, Sanders went after his entire team following a complaint that some of his football players were being distractions for other students, not passing classes and worsening the learning environment.

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In the email, which Sanders reads to his players, the professor admits that the football players in particular were more disrespectful to him than anyone else he’s experienced in his years of teaching.

“I have never felt so disrespected in my ten years of teaching. Students do not follow even minimally and it slows down my class so much. They make it clear that they don’t want to be here and have very little personal responsibility…”

Anonymous professor at University of Colorado in an email to Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders

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Deion Sanders calls out team over academics, behavior in classroom

Sanders made the message clear to the team. Either they become elite athletes who produce on the field and become outstanding football players who excel in the NFL or the Buffaloes’ coaching staff needs to make them mature into men who will be productive members of society. In Sanders’ words, the players weren’t playing close to NFL-caliber so maturity would be their only other option.

“You gonna get something out of this. You gonna be a man or you’re going to be a great football player. Since you choose not to be a great football player, we gotta make you a man.”

Deion Sanders to Colorado Buffaloes players following a complaint from a professor

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Sanders read out plenty of examples of disrespect players showed towards the professor and fellow students. Among them was creating an environment so loud and distracting that students who wanted to learn had to work in breakout rooms and tune out the professor’s instruction so much that things had to be repeated four to five times. In addition, several players often skipped classes which resulted in failing grades.

In the era of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) where many football players are being compensated by companies or boosters, Sanders is particularly displeased with the behavior in the classroom. He used that to drive home his final point, a majority of Colorado’s football players won’t make it to the NFL.

“I’m a little frustrated, I’m a little angry right now because we in this new collective in NIL state of mind…We got youngsters that’s all in on one side of the game. 90% or 95% of your roster ain’t going pro. So, coaches we got to emphasize education, we got to emphasize life, we got to emphasize the next step the next elevation if it don’t work in the game.”””

Colorado Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders

Only time will tell whether or not the message gets through to his players and leads to them making changes. One thing is for certain, though, Sanders’ willingness to call out the team and his highlighting of the importance of academics will be well-received by many outside that locker room.

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