Deion Sanders’s contract with Jackson State is a four-year, $1.2 million deal that includes at least $120,000 in annual performance incentives and an automatic extension for an eight-win season.
The former NFL star cornerback and Hall of Famer was announced last month as the new coach at the SWAC school in Mississippi, landing his first college job in a stunning move that took America by storm. Sports Illustrated obtained his contract through a public records request.
Sanders, 53, is to be paid an annual salary of $300,000 as part of a contract that begins Dec. 1 of this year and runs to Dec. 15, 2024. Before taking over at JSU, Sanders is completing his job as the offensive coordinator of the Dallas-area Trinity Christian Academy, where his son is a highly recruited starting quarterback.
The university would owe Sanders the full, remaining amount of his contract if they fire him within the first year of his employment. After Dec. 15, 2021, Jackson State could fire Sanders for a price tag of $300,000. If Sanders were to leave JSU, he’d owe the school 50% of his remaining salary.
Sanders’ salary is on par with other FCS head coaches, but it would put him last among FBS public school coaches. However, the contract is loaded with incentives. He receives $25,000 for each win over an FBS team, gets $10,000 for a SWAC division title and $30,000 for a conference championship. If his team reaches the Celebration Bowl—a season-ending game pitting the SWAC and MEAC champion—he’d receive $50,000 for a bowl win.
Sanders can also get bonuses for ticket sales. If a game draws more than 30,000 fans, he gets 10% of all sales after the 30,000. He receives 10% of all season ticket revenue after the first 10,000 are purchased. If JSU changes conferences, he gets $100,000.
There are several ways to trigger automatic extensions to his contract, including an eight-win regular season, which gets him one extra year. If the athletic director who hired him, Ashley Robinson, leaves Jackson State, Sanders gets a one-year extension. If JSU leaves the SWAC, he gets two years added to his deal.