UPDATE: Deion Sanders posted the exchange on social media and said he did not walk out, but simply dropped the call due to the reporter's "foolishness."
That’s Coach Sanders to you.
Deion Sanders has been a man of many names — Prime Time, Neon Deion — but he would like everyone, at least reporters, to address him by another name: ‘Coach.’
Sanders, who is the head coach for the Jackson State football program, walked out of a press conference during SWAC Media Day on Tuesday after a reporter addressed him as “Deion.”
“You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick,’” Sanders told the reporter, Nick Suss, of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. “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 Nick.”
Sanders walked out of the press conference after he was called Deion a second time.
Yet, Sanders’ point is not actually true.
Reporters address Saban by his first name and there are examples on the internet that show them doing this without being cussed out, as Sanders falsely stated.
It is actually rather common for journalists to address head coaches of teams at any level by their first name.
According to Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk, that is exactly what Suss was doing. Suss said he routinely addresses the people he is interviewing by their first name and Sanders was no different.
Sanders was hired by Jackson State, an HBCU, last season and went 4-3 in his first year as head coach of the program.