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Deion Sanders Dips From SWAC Media Day Event After Alleged Disrespect By Reporter

Deion Sanders at SWAC Media Days.
The artist formerly known as “Prime Time” has made it clear that the only name he responds to now, at least when it comes to reporters, is “Coach.”

Deion Sanders, who went the aforementioned nickname — as well as the more colorful moniker “Neon Deion” — during his time as an All-Pro football player in the NFL and better-than-average MLB part-timer,  reportedly stormed out of a Southwestern Athletic Conference media day event Tuesday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sanders, now in his second year as head coach of Jackson State, apparently took offense to a reporter calling him by his first name.

"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." 

The event transpired after the on-camera portion of the event was done. Suss, the reporter who called Sanders by his first name, made it clear that it is his policy to do so for all coaches, players and personnel when conducting interviews. “When I interview people, I call them by their first name. Whether it's someone I've been working with for years or someone I'm talking to for the first time,” he told the Clarion Ledger. “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."

It was reported that Suss, has called other coaches on his beat, including Saban, by their first names as well. Sanders, however, wasn’t hearing it and addressed the issue with a Tweet later in the day.

Coach Prime went 4-3 in his first season with the Tigers, a season marred by scheduling and safety nightmares perpetrated upon the season by the coronavirus pandemic. Jackson State opens this season on Sept. 5 against Florida A&M.

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