There was never any doubt Deion Sanders would command the spotlight at his first SWAC media day and, well, anyone familiar with Deion's history shouldn't be surprised it included him walking out of a press conference.
In a Zoom meeting with Jackson Clarion-Ledger reporter Nick Suss, the coach refused to be addressed by his own name.
Sanders: "Let's back up a little bit. You don't call Nick Saban, Nick. Don't call me Deion."
Suss: "I call Nick Saban, Nick."
Sanders: "No you don't. No you don't. No you don't. That's a lie. If you call Nick, Nick, you would get cussed out on the spot. Don't do that to me. Treat me like Nick."
Watch for yourself below, tweeted from Deion's own account.
This was just part of the story, however. (It's also not true. Reporters call Saban by his first name all the time and no one gets cussed out.)
Suss is the Clarion-Ledger's Ole Miss beat writer -- and of course, all of this happened on the day the Rebels appeared at SEC media days -- and the entire reason he was even on that Zoom was that Jackson State officials, at Deion's request, banned the hometown paper from covering the Tigers at yesterday's event. That edict came in retaliation for Clarion-Ledger writer Rashad Milligan reporting on Jackson State signee Quaydarius Davis appearing in court on charges of domestic assault. Davis is the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with the program.
“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."
Jackson State officials told the Clarion-Ledger's reporters that they weren't allowed to question Deion or Tigers players.
After the story published, Milligan was told by JSU athletics director Ashley Robinson the story was inaccurate and said Milligan would be better off covering Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State at SWAC Media Day.
As Milligan began to report at SWAC Media Day, Williams and Driscoll told him he could not interview JSU players and coaches.
As Milligan waited to interview Shedeur Sanders, a heralded freshman quarterback and the son of Deion Sanders, Driscoll told him, “Sorry, you won’t be able to talk today.”
Wednesday morning, Coach Prime was still tweeting through it
Meanwhile, Suss summarized his involvement in this fiasco with this statement.
As it happens, Nick Saban himself takes his turn at SEC media days later today. We'll see what happens if a reporter is brave enough to call the man by his first name.