HBCU alumnus and famed media personality Stephen A. Smith recently weighed in on the controversy surrounding Colorado, Deion Sanders, and Shedeur Sanders following The Athletic's detailed report of the occurrence of the 53 scholarship players who were ushered out of Colorado following Deion Sanders's arrival in Boulder and what they'd been up to since they left the program. Seduer Sanders and Deion Sanders found themselves in a firestorm of controversy regarding their reactions to former player Xavier Smith's comments about Sanders.

“We sat on the sofa, and he’s talking to us, but he’s not even looking at us. I’m looking Coach Kelly dead in his eyes. (Sanders) said he felt like I should hit the portal. He didn’t want me to waste a year thinking I could earn a spot…I was actually getting mad, like tears coming to my eyes. Because, bro, you never even tried to get to know me,” said Xavier Smith.

He added, “He was destroying guys’ confidence and belief in themselves…The way he did it, it could’ve been done with a little more compassion.”

Shedeur Sanders took to his social media to dismiss the player via a post on Twitter/X saying, “Ion even remember him tbh. Bro had to be very mid at best.”

Shedeur then hosted a Twitter/X Spaces alongside fellow Colorado players Kahlil Benson and Justin Mayers vowing to defend Colorado and call out what they believe to be lies about Deion Sanders as a coach and the program itself. He and the other players in the space also called out others who left the program and had largely unpleasant things to say such as Cormani McClain and Alton McCaskill IV.

Both Shedeur and his brother and Colorado player Shilo Sanders spoke out about the media storm surrounding the exodus of players from the program in a late April press conference, as reported by Denver Sports.

“If you’re good, you’re going to play. A lot of people talk about favoritism stuff but I’ve seen that at other schools that actually might be like that. I promise you if you’re good you’re going to play, you’ll have more of an opportunity here to legit actually display your skills,” Shilo said.

Shedeur added, “If you’re not playing here, that just means you’re doing something wrong. “If you’re not playing here that means you’re doing something—not listening to the coaches or something.”

Stephen A. Smith took to his latest podcast to address the situation, publicly advising Shedeur and Shilo of what he believes is the right way to defend their father. Smith has been an outspoken advocate of Deion Sanders' venture into college coaching, both at Jackson State and Colorado.

Smith, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, expressed that Sanders had a greater influence on HBCUs than he did when Smith visited Jackson State as the Celebrity Guest Picker on ESPN's College Gameday live broadcast in October 2022. Smith also hosted First Take live from Colorado's campus early in the season and routinely came to the defense of Deion Sanders from detractors and critics both on TV and his podcast The Stephen A. Smith Show during the season.

Because of that, Smith made it a point to say that he's a supporter of the Sanders family and speaks only in support.

“And I say this respectfully. To Shilo and Shedeur, two ballers, you're Deion Sanders's sons. That means I will, you will always have my support because I love your daddy like a brother. But it is important that you understand how you're communicating and how you're coming across. Your dad has earned it.”

He continued, “They're young. Shedeur and Shilo. I get it. They're protective of their daddy. I get it. But somebody needs to tell them that moving forward as you communicate in defense of your dad and what he's doing how you communicate and how you come across matters Because you represent him and you represent the program.”

Smith then used Shedeur's now famous watch celebration to illustrate his point, saying, “If you see this watch right here, this little Rolex I got on, see that you know one of the things that I never do with my watch; I never did that [Shedeur's celebration] and in my profession quite frankly, I win a lot. Shedeur Sanders did that each time they won a game – when they were three and 0, he did it when they beat Colorado State and that coach was trying to talk smack at Deion in the program, Shedeur Sanders met him at Midfield [but] Shedeur Sanders is miniature in my estimation. When you do it with bravado and disrespect as opposed to humility and protection of your father, you force people to look at you as opposed to looking at you protecting your father. Your father is Prime Time, he doesn't need you to do that. He can handle it. Focus on being the best you can be so you can back up all of this with victories instead of just celebrations.”

Smith's advice is surely practical and definitely should be taken into account by Shedeur & Shilo Sanders.