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Eddie George talks with Shannon Sharpe on Deion Sanders, Ed Reed and TSU

Eddie George once again showed why he might have been the best long-term hire of NFL stars for HBCUS in an interview with Shannon Sharpe.

Eddie Georgeon

By Steven J. Gaither

Eddie George is relatively low-key compared to Deion Sanders and Ed Reed, but he recently chopped it up with Shannon Sharpe on Club Shay Shay.

The Tennessee State head coach hooked up with his former rival to talk about what he’s doing in Nashville as well as Sanders and Ed Reed. He spoke about the ups-and-downs he’s endured since taking the Tennessee State job in April 2021. He was candid about the challenges, as well as what he wants for the program.

“The vision that I have for this program outweighs all that,” Eddie George told Shannon Sharpe. “ There are days when I’m driving home like…man, you know what, maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Things don’t move as fast as we would like at HBCUs. There are antiquated policies 

Shannon Sharp mentioned one of the criticisms of Deion Sanders, and Ed Reed as “celebrity hires” was that former NFL superstars speak without fully understanding the challenges the institutions themselves face. 

“I choose to approach it completely different than blasting it out there,” George said. “I like to influence people to ultimately move us in the right direction. That’s progress. That’s to move it to elite status.”

George Sharpe Shay Shay

The Ohio State alumnus admitted that he doesn’t understand everything about Tennessee State — let alone every HBCU. But he does try his best. 

“I don’t understand it. And that’s why I choose not to go in making declarations on what needs to be done,” George continued. “So I can understand and listen. And then go in with a compromise with how we move this in the right direction. I choose to listen and then be understood.”

He went on to list some HBCUs that are doing things right in his eyes — Prairie View A&M, Florida A&M, Alabama State and others.

Sharpe asked George about the infamous incident between Deion Sanders and Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. George and Robinson were actually teammates in the NFL. George said when he first learned of the incident he laughed — then he got on the phone with his former teammate. 

“I talked to Eddie about it. He understood it was the heat of the moment, he wanted to let him know where he stood in terms ‘’hey, you’re not going to come in here and disrespect me, disrespect the conference and soforth. I look at that as being the competitor.”

George and Sharpe talked for an hour and a half, ranging on subjects from TSU’s game against Notre Dame as well as Tennessee State’s possible jump. He also talked about his future — at Tennessee State and perhaps beyond.

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