BOULDER, Colo. — Most football coaches preach about players keeping their cool in the dog days of August when temperatures and tempers both tend to flare.
Not Deion Sanders.
The University of Colorado‘s new head coach upbraided some of his players Tuesday — not for fighting, but for not fighting.
A brief fracas followed Anthony Hankerson‘s touchdown run up the middle in a goal-line drill when safety Jaden Milliner-Jones grabbed the running back by his jersey and tossed him to the ground well after he’d scored.
Massive offensive tackle Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, who packs 310 pounds onto his 6-foot-10 frame, didn’t appreciate the late-in-the-play aggression and let Milliner-Jones know it.
A lot of pushing and shoving and hollering ensued as several teammates joined in, although many seemed to be simply trying to keep the peace. Some assistants ran into the fray and separated the players in the middle of the fight.
Moments later, as the offense huddled, Coach Prime stepped in and let his players know he wasn’t happy with what he had just witnessed.
“I seen two of you walking off, over there, and you’ve got a key teammate fighting,” Sanders groused. “Where they do that at? Where they do that at?”
Not here, his players replied.
“If one fights, we all fight,” Sanders fumed. “You understand that? I don’t want to see you all walking off when somebody’s fighting. Never again!”
A video of Tuesday’s practice posted by Sanders’ son, Deion Sanders Jr., shows the fight and the elder Sanders addressing his team at the 29:15 mark.
Today Was War at CU Buffs Football Practice: with KJ Hamler & Terrell Owenshttps://t.co/l97ZZLyM16
— Deion Sanders Jr (@DeionSandersJr) August 15, 2023
The Buffaloes are coming off a 1-11 debacle but are back in the spotlight heading into the 2023 college football season thanks to the arrival of Sanders and dozens of talented transfers who followed him to Boulder.
The Sanders era begins Sept. 2 when the Buffs open at TCU. They host longtime rival Nebraska the following week at Folsom Field, where the spring game, which featured a snowstorm, sold out and was broadcast by ESPN.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.