Nick Saban’s reaction to Deion Sanders’ media drama

To Nick or not to Nick.

Nick Saban has won seven national championships – one with LSU and six with Alabama – and is perhaps the most well-known name in college football.

But if you are addressing him, you can call him whatever you’d like.

“Look, I respond to just about anything, and I’ve been called just about everything,” Saban said. “So, not something that’s really important to me. But I think everybody should have the opportunity to create or make the way their expectation is of how they get addressed. It’s not something that’s really that significant to me.”

This has became a topic of discussion after Deion Sanders, a Hall of Fame defensive back and second-year Jackson State head coach, walked out of his press conference during SWAC Media Day on Tuesday when a reporter from The Clarion-Ledger – the biggest newspaper in Mississippi – called him “Deion.”

“You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick,’” Sanders said. “Don’t call me Deion. If you call Nick [Saban], Nick, you’ll get cussed out on the spot, so don’t do that to me. Treat me like [Saban].”

Nick Suss, the reporter who referred to Sanders as “Deion,” told the Clarion Ledger that he has called Saban and other coaches by their first name before and has not been critiqued for doing so.

“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 and Jackson State open their season Sunday, Sept. 5 against Florida A&M, while Saban and Alabama begin their title defense Sept. 4 against Miami.

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