Apparently Deion Sanders isn’t a fan of being addressed by his own first name.
According to the Clarion Ledger, Sanders, the NFL Hall of Famer who is entering his second season as the head coach at Jackson State, walked out of a Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day event on Tuesday after a reporter addressed him as “Deion” when asking a question.
Sanders, who seems to favor “Coach Prime,” claimed that Alabama coach Nick Saban does not like being referred to by his first name, and that he should be treated the same as Saban.
From the Clarion Ledger:
“You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick.’ Don’t call me Deion,” Sanders told Nick Suss from the Clarion Ledger.
“If you call Nick (Saban), Nick, you’ll get cussed out on the spot, so don’t do that to me,” Sanders later added. “Treat me like Nick.”
While some reporters will address a coach as “coach,” many others will simply address them by their first name like any other human being. And that includes Saban. Sanders’ statement that Saban will cuss out a reporter that calls him “Nick” is simply untrue. Watch any Alabama press conference and you will know that not to be the case.
The reporter who irked Sanders, Nick Suss, explained as much. Suss said he has done it when covering previous Sanders press conferences, too.
“When I interview people, I call them by their first name,” Suss said. “Whether it’s someone I’ve been working with for years or someone I’m talking to for the first time. This is true of the coaches and players on the Ole Miss beat, the coaches and players at Mississippi State and Southern Miss when I help out covering their teams and, as recently as January, even Sanders, too.”
Sanders has certainly brought an increased attention to HBCU football during his time at Jackson State. If this was some kind of ploy to garner attention for HBCUs during the offseason, it certainly did the job.
After the fall season was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson State played seven games during the spring and went 4-3. Sanders has attracted plenty of high-level talent to the program since taking over as head coach. That includes FBS transfers and some recruits who had scholarship offers from Power Five programs.
Jackson State opens its 2021 season against Florida A&M on Sept. 5.
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