Jackson State football head coach Deion Sanders turned heads this week when he stormed out of a Media Day event -- now, further light is being shed on the bizarre incident.
The football legend turned college coach made headlines when he abruptly ended a scrum with reporters after apparently taking exception to a pair of journalists addressing him simply as "Deion," but as it turns out there was a lot more to the story.
According to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Sanders and Jackson State brass were furious with the paper after it published a story about incoming four-star recruit Quaydarius Davis' ongoing court case on misdemeanor charges of "assault causes bodily injury family violence."
Before the article was published, Jackson State officials threatened to remove access of the reporter whose byline appears on the story, Rashad Milligan, the Clarion Ledger says.
Milligan was one of two Clarion Ledger journalists who were told they wouldn't have access to Jackson State personnel for questions on Tuesday at Sanders' orders, the paper says.
“A Clarion Ledger reporter was punished for simply doing his job," Clarion Ledger executive editor Marlon A. Walker said. "The decision to interfere with a working journalist not only is disappointing but also intolerable.
"It runs counter to the Clarion Ledger’s unwavering mission to freely and fully inform readers throughout Mississippi. It is imperative to stand strong against any attempts to disrupt that effort.”
Jackson State denied impeding the reporters.
“Two Clarion Ledger reporters were credentialed for SWAC Media Days, those credentials were not taken away and the SWAC also said they were not taken away. I am not privy to any reporter being barred or banned. Rashad Milligan has not been barred from covering Jackson State."
Davis, who is accused of assaulting his former live-in girlfriend, lost his scholarship with the Kansas Jayhawks soon after the alleged incident. He later committed to Jackson State, where he has a relationship with Sanders and his quarterback son, Shedeur.
Sanders later bolted from the news conference after lecturing reporters about how it was disrespectful to address him by his first name. One of the two reporters who did so was from the Clarion Ledger.