Jay Norvell offers flimsy explanation for his criticism of Deion Sanders

It’s a cleanup on Aisle Prime.

Colorado State Jay Norvell made his own trap and stepped right in it earlier this week, gratuitously criticizing Hall of Fame cornerback and flavor-of-the-moment Deion Sanders for wearing a hat and sunglasses during interviews. On Friday, well after the situation took on a life of its own, Norvell attempted to justify the remarks.

“With all the media involved with this game, not one reporter asked me about my comments,” Norvell tweeted. “One guy got it. I wanted to send a message to our players and how we run our program.”

Norvell’s tweet came with a video from Rece Davis of ESPN.com, who said this apparently to a group of reporters: “When you’re talking to the media at a news conference as a head coach, you’re either talking to the media, you’re talking to the fans, or you’re talking to your players. Jay Norvell, who I know was not talking to anyone at Colorado — I know he said he didn’t care if they heard it in Boulder — who do you think he’s talking to?

“His players. He’s talking to his players. Who are not afraid. Who are going in there. Who are not intimidated by all the attention they get or by the force of his personality or by the talent of Travis Hunter or Shedeur Sanders. We’re not intimidated by any of that. . . . He’s talking to his players. You know, now, absolutely Colorado should respond the way they did and use it and all of that stuff. That’s part of the game. But I didn’t think for a second — that’s not really, you guys probably know Jay Norvell better than I do, but that’s not really in his wheelhouse. He’s talking to his players. He wasn’t trying to take a shot. And I’m sorry to defuse all the fun in saying that, but that’s what I thought.”

First of all, why would anyone ask Norvell about this comments? Did they require interpretation or interrogation, beyond, say, “Have you lost your damn mind?”

Second, if Norvell had anything else to say about it, he could have done it on Twitter. Which he did. Taking a shot at reporters who cover his program for not asking him, say, “Have you lost your damn mind?” doesn’t really help matters.

Third, Davis’s explanation makes sense in theory. Yes, coaches send messages to players through press conferences. But this seems like a message that would be better sent more directly. You know, like when he’s talking to his players directly, in a meeting or in the locker room. without the message getting back to the person being criticized by it.

Fourth, Norvell’s tweet doesn’t really mesh with Davis’s assist. Norvell said he was sending a message to his players about “how we run our program” (which definitely is a shot, at someone). Davis said Norvell was sending a message to his players that they’re not going to be intimidated by Colorado. Those are two very different messages.

Even if there was a method to the madness, there’s a cost-benefit analysis to be conducted. What do I gain by saying this, and what do I lose? Frankly, I used to do it all the time as a kid when getting ready to fire off a smartass remark to my mother.

“I might get spanked for this. Is it worth it?” (Quite often, it was.)

Norvell will find out tonight whether it was worth it.

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