On Sunday Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (aka ‘Coach Prime’), led his Jackson State University Tigers to a 53-0 win over Edward Waters College in his college head coaching debut. In the immediate aftermath of the game, he got a Gatorade bath as his players celebrated the win.
But the celebration was short-lived, at least for Sanders. When he sat down to answer questions at his postgame press conference he said, “I’m pissed off right now because I have mixed emotions.”
“We won, the kids played really well,” he elaborated. “But while the game was going on, someone came in and stole every darn thing I have in the coaches’ office—credit cards, wallet, watches. Thank god I had on my necklaces,” he added, pulling down on the front of his sweatshirt.
Sanders went to say that he was teary-eyed after his players presented him with the game ball, calling it “one of the best moments I’ve had in my professional sports career emotionally.”
But “then you go into your locker room—your coaches office—and you notice that you don’t even have a phone to call your momma, your girl, your kids because it’s been stolen,” he added, trying to communicate how deflated he felt in that moment.
‘Misplaced and Found?’
After Sanders’ press conference came to an end, the school told ESPN that Coach Prime’s personal items were “misplaced and found.”
But Sanders immediately disputed that narrative via Twitter, volunteering that his assistant caught the thief in the act.
After that, Jackson State Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson issued a statement that read:
“Immediately following our win today, several items belonging to Coach Prime were taken from the locker room. Those items were quickly recovered and returned. While we consider this an isolated incident, we are thoroughly reviewing security protocols to ensure this does not happen again. However, we refuse to let this dampen the victory for our JSU Tigers, who have worked hard for this moment. We want them to enjoy this time, as we look forward to more game-winning celebrations in the future.”
Sanders Was a Victim of Vandalism and Theft Last Month
It’s not the first time that Deion Sanders, 53, has been victimized since being named the head coach at Jackson State in September. Last month, Sanders offered a reward for a boombox that he said was stolen out of his Ford truck while it was parked on the grounds of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“A white suburban came … and broke the window out,” Sanders said in an Instagram video. “[The thief] stole this boombox that one of my dearest friends gave me as a gift, and I’m a little disturbed because the boombox has a sentimental value.”
Later he posted another video to Instagram in which he revealed that the boombox had been returned, displaying it prominently in his thank-you video.
The Jackson State Tigers Return to the Gridiron on Saturday
The Jackson State game on Sunday was the first in a seven-game spring schedule that runs through April. JSU will host Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, kicking off its Southwestern Athletic Conference season. The win over Edward Waters College was Jackson State’s first shutout since September 2014.
According to its Web site, Edward Waters is a private, Christian, historically black, liberal arts college in Jacksonville, one that has fewer than one-thousand students.
Deion Sanders was selected No. 5 overall in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons and played five seasons for the Falcons before moving on to San Francisco, Dallas and Washington. He also played for Baltimore for two seasons (2004-05) after coming out of retirement.
In the course of his Hall of Fame career he was named first-team All-Pro six times and intercepted a total of 53 passes, returning nine of them for touchdowns. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
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