Pro tip: Deion Sanders is a head coach, and would like to be addressed that way.
Sanders is serious about being called “Coach Prime,” and it was confirmed on Tuesday as the former NFL megastar and second-year head coach at Jackson State walked out of an appearance at SWAC Media Day after a reporter referred to him as “Deion,” according 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.”
Sanders’ reference to Saban comes from last season when it was talked about whether it is appropriate for reporters to call Saban by his first name when addressing the legendary coach.
Many reporters were quick to tweet that they have called Saban “Nick” with no repercussions:
Clarion Ledger reporter Nick Suss added that he always calls people by their first names, including Sanders as recently as January:
“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’ program saw both highs and lows during the spring season, including a three-game losing streak that followed an impressive unbeaten start.
“To change the culture, you’ve got to change the people. If I was in church, the organ would have hit me right then,” Sanders said to the Clarion Ledger during the season. “You all know what we signed. You know what we’ve got coming in here, you know how we evaluate and what needs to go and what needs to stay. If you don’t do your job, what happens? This is that kind of business. This is how it is.”