Deion Sanders' first post-game press conference as a collegiate head coach should have been a joyous occasion.
After all, Sanders' Jackson State squad had just obliterated an inferior foe, the Edward Waters Tigers, 53-0 Sunday afternoon.
The NAIA Tigers had last won a game on Oct. 12, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was Jackson State's first game since November 23, 2019, when it was blown out by rival Alcorn State.
They were a ready-made sacrifice for Sanders' Tigers in their much-anticipated debut under the former Florida State All-American and NFL legend.
Instead, Sanders revealed in his post-game media session that he was robbed during the game inside Jackson Memorial Stadium.
“I'm pissed off right now, because I have mixed emotions,” Sanders said in his press conference. “We won; the kids played really well. But while the game was going on, somebody came in and stole every dern thing I had in my locker room. In the coaches' office. Credit cards, wallet, watches. Thank God I had on my necklaces.
Sanders, who has publicly challenged school and community leaders in the time since he took over the JSU program, particularly on his 21st and Prime podcast, used the alleged theft situation to again challenge the status quo.
“When I talk about equality and raising the standards, that goes for everyone, man,” Sanders said. “Not just the people on the field. Not just the coaches. Not just the teachers. Not just the faculty.
“That's everybody. Security and everybody. So how do you think it feels, coming back, just teary-eyed after the guys had presented me with the game ball; one of the best moments I've ever had in my professional sports career, emotional. And then you go into your locker room, your coaches' office to digress, and you notice you don't even have a phone to call your mama, to call your girl, to call your kids, because it's been stolen. You don't even have the skully hats that you wore here. We're going to find out who did it.”
Update> It appears Deion's items have been recovered. Will be quite interesting to hear how this is explained.
Coach Prime weighs in:
Uh, coach, that would be your administration.
Jackson State statement:
JSU AD Ashley Robinson issued this statement on Sunday night. Robinson's statement falls in between the initial Jackson State party line -- "misplaced" -- and Deion's bold "stolen" claim, saying the items were "taken." Robinson does not say whether the items were grabbed by a well-meaning staffer or a malicious ne'er do well, but he then goes on to say JSU will review its security protocols to ensure the episode is not repeated.