Deion Sanders rebukes reporter for calling him by 1st name
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders caused a stir at SWAC media day on Tuesday when he took issue with a reporter calling him by his first name.
"You don't call (Alabama head coach) Nick Saban, 'Nick.' Don't call me Deion," Sanders told Nick Suss of the Clarion Ledger, according to fellow Clarion Ledger reporter Langston Newsome.
He added: "If you call (Saban) Nick, you'll get cussed out on the spot, so don't do that to me. Treat me like Nick."
It was widely reported that Sanders left the press conference early because of the incident, but he refuted that version of events:
The former NFL cornerback led Jackson State to a 4-3 record in 2020, his first season as a college football head coach.
Suss said afterward he wasn't treating Sanders differently than other coaches he's previously covered, including Saban and Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin.
"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."
Some on social media also pointed out that reporters have often called Saban - the most successful head coach in college football history - by his first name during press conferences.
Sanders earned the nickname "Prime Time" during his Hall of Fame career and goes by "Coach Prime" on Twitter and Instagram.