While all eyes aren’t usually fixed on the SWAC Media Days, Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders turned quite a few heads with his actions yesterday. During a press conference on Tuesday, the Hall-of-Fame cornerback walked out of the event after a reporter referred to him by his first name.
“You don’t call Nick Saban, ‘Nick.’ Don’t call me Deion,” Sanders said. “…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.”
This theory was put to the test on Wednesday.
Alabama head coach and six-time NCAA champion Nick Saban was the first coach to step up to the podium at SEC Media Days. As they have for years, several reporters referred to the legendary coach as “Nick.”
One reporter, Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel, decided to make light of the recent Sanders situation.
“I’mma call you Coach instead of Nick, if that’s alright,” Bianachi joked.
Of course, Saban didn’t even crack a smile.
Bianchi begins his question to Saban: “I’mma call you Coach instead of Nick, if that’s alright.”
— CHRIS TORELLO (@TorelloSports) July 21, 2021
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 21, 2021
Later on in the press conference, Saban was asked more directly about how he’d like to be addressed.
“Look, I respond to just about anything — and I’ve been called just about everything,”Saban said. “Not something that’s really important to me, but I think everyone should have the opportunity to sort of create or make their expectation of how they get addressed.”
Coach? Nick? Coach Saban?
Alabama head coach Nick Saban fields a question at SEC Media Days on how he prefers the media to address him. “I respond to just about anything. I’ve been called just about everything.” #RollTide#BamaFactor#SECMD21pic.twitter.com/kBczworkn4
— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) July 21, 2021
Sanders finished his first season as the Tigers’ head coach with a 4-3 record. Through 25 years of head coaching experience, Saban’s record sits at a 261-65-1.