Amid discussions of HBCUs, Shannon Sharpe reveals why he chose Savannah State

The Hall of Fame tight end made a confession
Amid discussions of HBCUs, Shannon Sharpe reveals why he chose Savannah State
NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (Image source: Instagram – @shannonsharpe84)

As Deion Sanders announced his decision to leave Jackson State for the University of Colorado after two years of publicly advocating for HBCUs, online discussions have been fiery. Shannon Sharpe, a Savannah State graduate, defended “Coach Prime” on Twitter after Sanders drew criticism for leaving an HBCU for a PWI.

“Deion Sanders took the vibranium out of Wakanda,” user Brian Howard tweeted, referring to the Black Panther series. “He ain’t SWAC.”

“You sound RIDICULOUS,” Sharpe responded.

The co-host of “Undisputed” then had a back-and-forth with other viewers comparing Sanders leaving an HBCU to Black people leaving their communities and being viewed as success stories. When queried about whether he viewed Black institutions as a downgrade, Sharpe publicly admitted something he hadn’t before.

“I went to an HBCU, but only because I was prop 48,” Sharpe tweeted.

Prop 48 is a rule the NCAA adopted in 1986 to require high school athletes to get a specific minimum score on standardized college-entrance tests to participate in sports as a freshman. The rule has a disproportionate effect on Black athletes, as History and NCAA statistics reported, only 51% of Black male athletes would have been eligible to play in the 1982 season if the rule existed then.

A few years ago, Sharpe revealed he wanted to transfer from Savannah State to go to the University of Miami to get more NFL exposure and play in front of larger crowds. Per HBCU Gameday, his coach told him if he’s good enough, they’ll find him anywhere. The Denver Broncos selected him in the seventh round of the 1990 NFL Draft, and he played 14 seasons and became, at the time, the all-time leader for catches, yards and touchdowns for a tight end. In 2010, he was inducted into the Savannah State Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 2020, after prominent high school basketball prospect Mikey Williams said he wanted to play at an HBCU, Sharpe went on “Undisputed” and gave a passionate speech about how attending an HBCU was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

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