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Deion's Prime Prep Academy Can't Field an Eligible Football Team. Can it Offer a Decent Education?

Deion Sanders working the crowd during a town hall meeting in February.
Deion Sanders working the crowd during a town hall meeting in February.
Patrick Michels

Prime Prep Academy, Deion Sanders's charter school, is scheduled to debut Monday. The school's much-discussed football program, the one that was reportedly going to be the subject of a reality show and that Deion himself was going to coach? That might have to wait.

WFAA's Brett Shipp reported Friday that the District 11-3A committee had disqualified Prime Prep from all athletics.

What precipitated the decision was interim athletic director Clevaland Starr's admission that 80 percent of the players on the football team live outside DISD's boundaries, making them ineligible to play under state rules. More than that, the committee members expressed frustration at Prime Prep's lack of transparency.

"We don't know anything about Prime Prep," said Madison High School head football coach Ronald Johnson in Shipp's piece. "We don't know who to contact; we don't know who to call; we don't know who we are going to face; we don't know if we are going to play over here or over there."

That sounds familiar. Since a series of town hall meetings in February, neither Deion nor anyone else associated with Prime Prep has said much publicly, about the school or its football program despite lots and lots of questions.

Deion hasn't commented publicly about the decision, save for a tweet:

According to the Morning News the blanket ban on athletics is unlikely to hold up before the UIL's executive committee. But still, the decision sucks for the kids who enrolled in Prime Prep expecting to play football and raises another, more important: If Prime Prep Academy, a school named for and promoted by a football star, can't field a legitimate football team, can it have the wherewithal to offer a decent education? At this point, it's hard to tell.


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