Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy thought it would magically get enough eligible players to compete when school opened

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

On Monday, Prep Rally's Jonathan Wall wrote about how Deion Sanders' first year Dallas charter school, Prime Prep Academy, has been barred from fielding any varsity athletic teams during the 2012-13 season because of rather poor planning. Among that lack of foresight was comprising a football program where 80 percent of the school's 30 scheduled varsity players were ineligible because they came from outside its geographic boundaries.

NFL Hall of Famer and coach of Prime Prep Academy Deion Sanders — Getty
NFL Hall of Famer and coach of Prime Prep Academy Deion Sanders — Getty

At the time, it seemed ridiculous that Prime Prep could have ever entertained the idea of playing competitive football in Texas just days after opening its doors, even though Sanders planned to be a co-head coach for the team and be the subject of a reality show about his role with the program. Yet the truth is that the school itself was even more naive that it seems, as was made clear in an interview between Prime Prep co-founder D.L. Wallace and the Dallas Morning News' Matt Wixon.

"The enrollment process takes place every day," Wallace told Wixon. "We still don't know how many kids will show up on Day 1 [of school] and say, 'I wasn't at two-a-days, but I still want to play.' We're not 100 percent sure what we've got."

If you're following Wallace's logic, this is apparently the case he was making: Prime Prep applied to play varsity football because it actually thought it would magically have 20-some odd eligible players show up on the first day of school.

Given Prime Prep's relative size and its self-professed competitive entry system, that claim seems outlandish to begin with. Instead, the fact that the school was so laissez faire about determining which of its players would be eligible to compete before the District 11-3A committee is remarkably naïve, not to mention disorganized. If the school knew this was coming all along, why did it continue to trot Deion out for radio interviews and the like.

Clearly, officials somehow thought it was going to happen. It didn't and now, as Wixon put it, everyone has egg on their face.

"Maybe it shouldn't be that surprising. Few charter schools attempt to try to play UIL varsity football as they open their doors.

"It's way too ambitious. And it's made Prime Prep, even before it opens its doors, look foolish."

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