On the same day that one situation into which former NFL cornerback Deion Sanders became entangled was resolved (sort of), word now emerges that Deion had a direct role in the ineligibility of Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant.
As John Taylor of CFT points out, Bryant lost his eligibility to play college football because, as the NCAA explains it, he “failed to openly disclose to the NCAA the full details of his interaction with a former NFL player not affiliated with OSU.”
In English, he lied.
As J.T. also points out, Bryant admits that he lied.
Though he still might regain his eligibility, the NCAA doesn’t take kindly to being lied to, even if the liar later admits to the lying.
“The kid panicked, man,” Sanders said, per the New York Times. “He panicked. He thought it was
a violation to come over to my house and it isn’t. He said no, that he
hadn’t been over here, and I said, yeah, he had been over here. I don’t
lie and he panicked.”
Still, at what point is the NFL going to conduct a full investigation into Deion’s business interests that are, directly or indirectly, creating collateral headaches for the league? The NFL walks on wafer-thin eggshells when it comes to keeping college coaches happy; this kind of stuff will serve only to make guys like Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy go beserk.
Deion is a league employee, by virtue of his relationship with NFL Network. In little more than a month, Deion has inadvertently blown the whistle on apparent tampering with 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, and Deion has now compromised the eligibility of Dez Bryant.
So what’s Deion’s angle? Why is he involved with these kids? Is he just being friendly? Is he recruiting participants for his Prime U show? Or does he have a direct financial interest in steering NFL prospects like Crabtree, Dez Bryant, and Noel Devine to Eugene Parker?
We don’t know the answers to those questions, but the NFL definitely should be asking them.