Deion Sanders wasn’t going to sit down quietly.
Sanders, now the coach of the University of Colorado, has overhauled the Buffaloes’ roster after being hired in December, with a reported 70 players leaving or being told to leave the program as he enters his first year with the school.
Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi hasn’t been a fan of Sanders’ tactics, which have already brought in dozens of new players into Colorado.
“That’s not what the [transfer portal] rule intended to be,” Narduzzi told Brandon Marcello at ACC spring meetings. “It was not to overhaul your roster. We’ll see how it works out, but that, to me, looks bad on college football coaches across the country.”
Sanders has indeed overhauled his roster, thanks in large part to an NCAA rule that allows first-year coaches to remove any players from their rosters if their scholarships are still honored.
Now, the Pro Football Hall of Famer is answering back to one of his biggest critics about his use of the transfer portal to transform Colorado.
Sanders even took a personal shot at Narduzzi.
“I don’t know who he is, if he walked in here right now I wouldn’t know him,” Sanders said in an interview with 24/7 Sports.
“He is not mad at me, he is mad at the situation in football now that allowed his best player to leave a year ago. He’s not mad at me, he’s using me to shoot bullets at another coach who he has an issue with.”
Narduzzi had previously said that when he first took Pitt’s top job, he kept the core there and didn’t make any major moves, unlike Sanders did upon entering Boulder.
“When I got to Pitt back in 2015, I didn’t kick anybody off. Zero,” Narduzzi said. “Those are your guys. When you become a head coach, you inherit that team, and you coach that team.”
If Sanders were to inherit all of Colorado’s returnees from 2022, he’d have quite the challenge in front of him as the Buffaloes finished with a Pac-12 worst 1-11 record.
Sanders comes from leading Jackson State, where he finished with a 27-6 record, including a 12-1 finish a season ago with the historically black university.
The new Buffaloes coach will get to coach his first regular-season game with the school on Sept. 2 against TCU.
Unless Colorado and Pittsburgh meet in a bowl game, Sanders will not get to face off against new rival Narduzzi.