Former NBA behemoth Shaquille O’Neal came to the defense of first-year Colorado State head coach Deion Sanders after the latter announced that part of his recruitment strategy for filling certain positions required a kid to come from a two-parent household.
As Sanders said, he wanted a “leader of men” who wouldn’t “make bad decisions off the field.” He further defended the common sense idea by saying these types of players would possess many different attributes needed to excel as a quarterback in his system.
Enter NBA champion Shaq, who barely even questioned the notion that kids from two-parent homes are generally more stable and more successful – in football as in life.
“You know why I have discipline? Do you know why I don’t get in trouble? Do you know why I don’t do dumb sh*t? Daddy would have whooped my ass. A lot of kids don’t have that,” the big man said on The Big Podcast. “A lot of kids have hard-working mothers that really have to work and they grow up on their own. And you can go left or you can go right. Studies [and] statistics show that’s just how it is.”
For some context, here was Sanders making that “controversial” statement while speaking to sports commentator Rich Eisen.
Coach Deion Sanders say he look for a 2 parent households, 3.5 GPA and leadership skills when recruiting QB’s because they have to be smart but when recruiting a DE he prefers a kid from a single parent barely making it on free lunch who are hungry to get out of poverty. pic.twitter.com/21R1TyWSSd
— Black Millionaires ® (@Blackmillions_) February 24, 2023
“We want a mother, father, you know, dual parents,” Sanders said of his internal recruiting practice. “We want that kid to be 3.5 [GPA] and up because he’s got to be smart. He can’t make bad decisions off the field. At all. Because he has to be a leader of men. There are so many different attributes and what we look for when we see a quarterback. And, (we) would love a coach’s son.”
As Louder with Crowder noted, Sanders obviously isn’t exclusively looking for this type of player, though it comes with many added bonuses. It also doesn’t mean that if a kid doesn’t come from a two-parent household – i.e. they have a father in the picture – that they can’t be successful. But there are basic facts supporting the reality that kids do better when both mom and dad are present.
Louder with Crowder wrote:
What he said, while accurate, was also being said in jest. As I said before, a clue should be everyone laughing while he was saying it. At no point did Sanders say if your dad isn’t in your life you are disqualified from being a quarterback. If you have a rocket for an arm and can win games, you’re gonna get looked at. Sanders was speaking in generalities. And yes, speaking in generalities, kids who come from two-parent homes do better in school, are more well-adjusted, and have more discipline than those who don’t.
If you grew up with only one parent, neither Deion nor Shaq is talking to you personally. Though more importantly, they also don’t care if your feelings are hurt. We need more of that.
Sanders has also made statements that each position has different skills, needs, and that he looks for different things depending on what he’s trying to accomplish.
“Defensive linemen, it’s totally opposite — single mama, trying to get it, he’s on free lunch,” Sanders said. “I’m talking about just trying to make it. He’s trying to rescue mama, like mama barely made the flight. I want him to just go get it. There are whole different attributes that you look for in different positions.”
Sanders then returned to the hard-knocks reality that he is building a winning program.
“This culture ain’t built like that,” Sanders said. “This culture wants every darn dime it can get. So, you have to sacrifice some things to be in that position, and I don’t think this culture is ready to make those types of sacrifices.”
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