Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders said after his Jackson State coaching debut on Sunday that his personal items were stolen from the coaches' office during the Tigers' 53-0 victory over NAIA program Edward Waters, leading him to have "mixed emotions" about the day.
"For one, the kids played really well," a visibly upset Sanders said during his postgame news conference, before continuing. "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."
Following Sanders' news conference, the school told ESPN that his items were "misplaced and found."
But Sanders disputed that the items were misplaced in a series of tweets later Sunday, saying that his assistant walked in on a man in the process of committing the theft.
Naw it was stolen but they got it back. It was stolen out my personal bag in my office and My assistant caught the gentleman in the process of stealing it but she was alone. No Miscommunication my man at all https://t.co/foXTKwqsQC— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 22, 2021
Whomever putting out the lie that my belongings wasn't stolen is LYING. My belongings were taken out of a zipped bag in my office and more items were taken as well from my office. We have retrieved them since being reported. My Staff member witnessed the crime. #Truth— COACH PRIME (@DeionSanders) February 22, 2021
Sanders went on to say that the items were retrieved since being reported missing.
Later Sunday evening, after Sanders tweeted, Jackson State athletic director 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."
Sanders, who also played Major League Baseball on top of being a two-time Super Bowl champion, is a first-time head football coach at the collegiate level. Previously, he was the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, for three seasons.
Sanders announced on his podcast "21st and Prime" in September that he would be the next head coach at Jackson State. The Tigers' game on Sunday was the first in a seven-game spring schedule that runs through April. It was also Jackson State's first shutout since Sept. 6, 2014.
Jackson State next hosts Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, kicking off the Southwest Athletic Conference season.