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DII football coach accuses Colorado of tampering; Buffaloes staffer says player was ‘catfished’

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A Division II football coach claimed Deion Sanders and his staff at Colorado had tampered with one of his commits.

Philip Vigil, head coach at Colorado State-Pueblo, took to social media to accuse the Buffaloes’ staff of the behavior, posting screenshots of what seemed to be a text message exchange between one of Vigil’s future players and Colorado assistant director of player personnel Devin Rispress.

The messages were screenshot from the player’s phone, and the image showed the staffer asking if the player was a “full commit” to CSU-Pueblo. When the player responded “yes,” a new message arrived asking if the player would consider switching commitments.

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Deion Sanders before a game against UCLA

Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes prior to a game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl Stadium Oct. 28, 2023, in Pasadena, Calif. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The player said he’d have to discuss any potential move with family, and the two shared another back-and-forth with the coach saying he will “hopefully be able to make this happen next offseason.”

Vigil posted the screenshots and went after the Colorado program, including Sanders.

“Hey @NCAA and @Big12Conference, is this considered tampering, or is (Rispress) and {Colorado} able to recruit our current players like this?” Vigil wrote, tagging Sanders with a thinking and shrugging emoji.

Deion Sanders at the spring game

Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders during a spring game at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo., April 27, 2024. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

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The exchange between Rispress and the player never happened, the Colorado staffer said. In fact, he claims someone was impersonating him.

“nice try yall been catfished wrong guy brother,” Rispress responded. “You could’ve hit me up before tweeting this and embarrassing your program.”

Vigil then deleted the post and sent what appeared to be a response back.

“College athletics are changing rapidly, and it is my job to support my players and our program. I have removed my social media post to allow the NCAA to address this situation and similar behaviors in college athletics,” Vigil posted.

Neither school has responded to a request for comment.

Deion Sanders before playing USC

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders heads to the locker room after players warmed up before a game against Southern California Sept. 30, 2023, in Boulder, Colo.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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Vigil and Sanders are entering their second seasons with their respective schools.

Colorado went 4-8 last year after a 3-0 start, while CSU-Pueblo went 8-3 and finished third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The University of Colorado had no comment on the story.

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