Jackson State coach Deion Sanders walks out of SWAC Media Day

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  — Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders wants to be treated like Alabama coach and six-time national champion Nick Saban.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback and second-year coach demanded that reporters shouldn’t call him by his first name before walking out of a SWAC Media Day event at the Sheraton-Birmingham on Tuesday. 

“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.” 

Sanders, who went 4-3 in his first year as a college coach, walked out after being referred to by his first name a second time. 

MORE: Jackson State blocks reporter from covering Deion Sanders’ program at SWAC media day

Suss is the Ledger’s Ole Miss writer that has crossed over several beats, most recently covering Mississippi State in its College World Series championship run. This is Suss’ second time covering Sanders at SWAC Media Day.

“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.” 

Suss has referred to Saban and the football coach on his Ole Miss beat, Lane Kiffin, by their first names, along with the Bulldogs’ national championship baseball coach, Chris Lemonis.



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