Deion Sanders was popular during his head coaching debut on Sunday when Jackson State beat NAIA opponent Edward Waters 53-0. But the game was quickly overshadowed by confusion as to whether Sanders had been robbed during the game.
Sanders railed at reporters in his post-game press conference that he believed someone had stolen his belongings from the coach’s office, claiming his credit card, wallet, watch and phone had all been taken. He used the incident to illustrate how “when I talk about quality and raise the standards that applies to everyone, man, not just the people in the field, not just the coaches, not just the teachers, don’t only for the faculty. But that’s it. ” all. Security and all. “
News of the allegation spread quickly, and Sanders claimed it was the second time he had been robbed since taking the FCS job in Jackson, Mississippi. Within an hour, Jackson state officials announced Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger that Sanders’ belongings had not been stolen and had not been misplaced until after they had been taken to safekeeping. Noah Newman of WJTV in Jackson reported that all of Sanders’ belongings were found in his locker / office.
But before the night was over, Sanders posted on Twitter that he had doubled the robbery charge and stated that an employee had come in because of an ongoing theft. Jackson State also released a statement confirming that Sanders had taken items “out of the locker room.”
“These items were quickly found and returned,” the statement said. “Although we consider this to be an isolated incident, we are carefully reviewing the security logs to ensure this does not happen again. However, we refuse to let this dampen the victory of our JSU Tigers who have been working hard for this moment. that they do this. ” Enjoy this time, because we look forward to more festive celebrations in the future. “
The conflicting reports and statements about what happened crowned the beginning of the numbers that make up a fascinating chapter in Sander’s career. The FCS season has been postponed to spring this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Tigers are expected to play a regular season of seven games. Sanders, who drew attention to the Jackson State program with his status as a former NFL and MLB superstar, must quickly put the misunderstanding of Sunday behind him. The Tigers will host rival Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, and it should be a much tougher game than Sunday’s game against an overmatched opponent from one of the lowest levels in the sport.
“How does it feel?” Sanders said before the incident was resolved. “I come back with tears in my eyes because the guys presented me with the match ball. One of the best moments I’ve ever experienced emotionally in my professional sports career. Then you go to your locker room and your coaching office … and you Realize that you don’t even have a phone to call your mom, call your girl, call your kids because it was stolen. “
Sanders finally said “let’s rinse this up” and started talking about the game. But before that he made it clear that “we will find out who did it”.