Deion Sanders Surprises Comets


Two people with UTD connections were featured in a recent episode of the CBS television show, Celebrity Undercover Boss.
In the program, former pro football player Deion Sanders disguised himself and met various individuals in the Dallas area.
Desiree Allen BS’99 (featured in the above clip) was one of those people with whom Sanders met.
Allen is a football coach at North Dallas High School and told Sanders some of the challenges she faced, including the need to buy equipment out of her own pocket. Allen played sports at UT Dallas and became an assistant coach of the women’s basketball team after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Another person featured in the show was Dr. Jonathan Palant, who directs choirs at UT Dallas. Palant also leads the Dallas Street Choir, which is made up of homeless individuals who live on the streets of Dallas. Palant introduced the incognito Sanders to Michael, a member of the choir who said he lives under a bridge downtown.
At the end of the show, Sanders revealed himself and provided some assistance to some of those he had met during filming.
Sanders gave Allen $10,000 to reimburse her for the items she had purchased for the team, $10,000 to purchase new gear, clothing and equipment for the team, and an opportunity to coach with Sanders at his national football camp for high schoolers, the Prime 21 Camp.
Michael also received money so he could get off the streets, get new clothes and continue his education.
Palant said participating in Celebrity Undercover Boss was a huge honor.
“Since filming, Michael graduated from college and is now living independently in an apartment. He’s looking for a job and is hoping to begin graduate work this fall,” he said. “And while it didn’t air, the Dallas Street Choir also benefited in countless ways from this experience. In the end, we are grateful to get our message out in yet another venue.”
–Phil Roth