Deion Sanders deserves credit for LSU and others culinary standards

The "Prime Effect" started a trend with schools catching after the fact
Sep 23, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders walks on the field before the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders walks on the field before the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports / Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
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When Deion Sanders arrived at the University of Colorado, he implemented significant changes that extended beyond the football field. Among these was an initiative to enhance the quality of food services for the players, underscoring his holistic approach to team management.

Sanders insisted on improving the cafeteria's standards and ensured that the names of key culinary staff, including executive chef Carl Solomon, were prominently featured on the Colorado Buffaloes' official website. This move was part of a broader strategy to acknowledge the contributions of all team members, including those working behind the scenes.

Sanders' influence set a precedent that other universities soon followed. ESPN recently acknowledged LSU for listing the names of their chefs on the athletic department’s website. The list included Executive Chef Michael Johnson and Sous Chefs Ryan Andre, Kevin Anderson, and Michael Carter, who were added to the Performance Nutrition department’s staff list. This decision mirrored Sanders' earlier move at CU, emphasizing the growing recognition of the vital role that nutrition and food services play in athletic performance.

The "Prime Effect," has reflected Sanders' broader impact on college football culture. His insistence on high standards and recognition for all contributors has fostered a more inclusive and appreciative environment. Despite facing challenges in his first season at CU, Sanders has been credited with initiating a mindset shift within the program. He introduced policies like requiring players to put away their smartphones during meals to encourage team bonding and improve interpersonal relationships.

While LSU's decision to highlight their culinary staff was praised, it also drew criticism from fans who felt that Sanders and CU were not given due credit for pioneering the idea. Many fans took to social media to voice their displeasure, pointing out that Coach Prime was the first to honor the chefs in such a public manner. They accused ESPN and LSU of failing to acknowledge the trend-setting move by Sanders and his team.

Sanders’ commitment to recognizing and valuing every member of the team extends to frequent mentions of the cafeteria staff in behind-the-scenes videos produced by Well Off Media. These videos have showcased the high-quality meals prepared for the players, further highlighting the integral role of the culinary team in the overall success of the athletic program.

The reaction from the college football community underscores a broader sentiment that credit should be given where it is due. Sanders' innovative approach at CU has clearly influenced other programs, demonstrating his role as a pioneer in college athletics. His actions have set a new standard for recognizing and valuing all contributors to a team’s success, an approach that is gradually being adopted by other institutions.


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Josh Tolle

JOSH TOLLE