Deion Sanders Demanded a Raise, Threatened to Break Prime Prep CEO's Neck (Audio NSFW)

deionsandersproject.jpg
Amy Silverstein
Throughout the public collapse of Prime Prep Academy, the charter school co-founded by Deion Sanders, the former Cowboy star has been accused of bullying and even attacking school employees who failed to cow to his demands for more power and more money.

Those allegations have largely been hard to corroborate, but audio recordings obtained by the Observer provide a glimpse into Sanders' angry and violent attempts to wrest control of his namesake school from his former business partner.

The audio comes from a meeting that included Sanders and D.L. Wallace, his Prime Prep co-founder, former business partner and the ex-CEO of the two-campus charter school. It's unclear from the audio when and where the meeting took place, and the source who provided it declined to provide those specifics. But Wallace has previously described a meeting that took place between him, Sanders and two members of Prime Prep's board in June 2013, at the field house on the school's southern Dallas campus. The content of the recordings matches Wallace's description of that meeting.

The meeting, at least based on the incomplete recordings we've obtained, seems to center on Sanders' desire for a bigger role, and a bigger salary, at the school. Though his nickname graces the building, Sanders originally ceded control to Wallace, and acted only as a coach on the football team and a general "leader." When the school was still in the planning stages in 2012, Sanders deferred Observer reporter Leslie Minora's questions about the logistics to Wallace.

But as the school struggled in its first year-plus, and after Sanders was briefly fired for assaulting an employee, he began angling for a bigger share of the responsibility, and taxpayer-funded compensation to go with it. Records show that Sanders was making $40,000 while Wallace, who has since resigned, was paying himself $120,000.

"I'm going to get more money, or there ain't going to be no school, that's just flat out how it's going to be," Sanders tells Wallace in the recording.

He admits he doesn't really need the money. "Forget me, because what I do with the money I'm getting, I turn around and stipend my coaches," he says, apparently referring to the small stipends usually paid to high school sports coaches. "Because God has blessed me, I don't really need it. But I'm going to get it because it's mine and my name is on the building. OK, that's just fair."

He adds: "I don't know who you can look in this eye in this room, and say, 'I'm going to give myself 120 Gs and I'm giving Prime 40.' You can't justify that."

Wallace doesn't reject the request, but he wants to know what official role Sanders wants to take on.

"Now you tell me then: What position?" Wallace asks.

"Position?" Sanders responds incredulously.

"What position?"

"HNIC," Sanders shoots back. That's "Head Nigga in Charge."

As Texas Education Agency continues its widespread investigation into Prime Prep, many have asked: Why did state officials even approve the school's charter in the first place? Sanders has the answer, even if he's only willing to share it in private.

"You don't even really know how we got this school in Austin, you don't really know, so let me tell you," Sanders tells Wallace in the recordings. "It ain't because all these inflated words and wonderful things we said, it was another way." Sanders lectures Wallace on the school's origins, reminding him how Sanders' own celebrity, and apparently special treatment from politicians in Austin, helped close the deal.

"Senators, political leaders that you hooked me up with, that you put me down with. That's how we got the school," Sanders says, before disparaging other leaders at the school. "You're talking about a nigga sitting up there that was an athlete who didn't graduate, another nigga sitting up there saying he's the president, that ain't graduate nothing, and we got a school. Think about that, man. How in the world do you think we got a school?"

That's when Sanders reveals his temper, and an apparent violent streak that's led to numerous allegations of assault and threats during his tenure at Prime Prep.

"I'm pissed off at you dog, because I trusted you, from man to man, I always had your back," he says. "I feel like throwing this chair at you and breaking your damn neck right now, and I don't even use profanity, but I'm going to let it ride, because I'm pissed off because I love kids."

"You look at it as business, nigga," Sanders says. "I look at it as kids."

Reached Wednesday afternoon by telephone, Prime Prep Board President T. Christopher Lewis told Unfair Park that he recalls once witnessing a "heated discussion" about "equity of decisions of the school between Deion and D.L Wallace," but he declined to comment further. "I don't remember that exact verbiage," Lewis said.

Wallace did not respond to an interview request. In December, though, he wrote a letter to parents at the school's Fort Worth campus, describing Sanders as someone unfit to work with kids. Most disturbingly, he claimed that Sanders had tried to choke him and another employee.

At a school meeting last month, Sanders was dismissive about the allegations that he assaulted Wallace. "Oh my god," Sanders told Unfair Park at the time. "God bless you, god bless you," he added.

We've tried to reach Sanders through various channels and received only an unsigned email from an email handle "deionssr":

"You're Trash!" the writer starts. "Maybe the worst writer we've ever seen. No wonder you write for a meaningless outfit like the observer. Write something that someone cares about. We're tired of the same old ignorant falsified stories."

Send your story tips to the author, Amy Silverstein.

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65 comments
AGO1
AGO1

Al the money in the world will not give Sanders class or the ability to be anything other than a first rate narcissist....what a POS! And all he cares about is the kids.......all he cares about is the money....If he didn't make money playing football he'd be a crook collecting welfare, LOL!

rusknative
rusknative

sounds like a racist narcissist to me...oh, wait...black football player....same thing.

Frank
Frank

As a P1, I was shocked how the ticket guys made excuses for Deon.  They basically said clearly Deon only cares about the kids!!!  REALLY????  Never mind that he was demanding more money...

Fred-dorfman76
Fred-dorfman76

Is it any wonder why Rick Perrys Texas is always at or near the bottom in education.

judysrose321
judysrose321

I agree with DEION SANDERS... Real talk.

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

"You're talking about a nigga sitting up there that was an athlete who didn't graduate, another nigga sitting up there saying he's the president, that ain't graduate nothing, and we got a school. Think about that, man. How in the world do you think we got a school?"


Amy Silverstein:  Deion wasn't disparaging other employees with this statement.  He was referring to himself and DL Wallace.  Neither of these guys have a college education.  He is admitting that based on their qualifications, there is no way in hell that they should have been approved for this school.  And I agree with him!


Btw, the email that you received from the handle 'deionssr' is directly from Deion Sanders himself.  That is his manner of speaking.  That is his style. He loves to call others ignorant.  You are not the worst writer and the taxpayers of Texas are not tired of your reporting the real TRUTH!

LaughingAtDeion
LaughingAtDeion

When you do people wrong...do you not think there will not be Karma...MUST BE THE MONEY...LOL

LaughingAtDeion
LaughingAtDeion

Its amazing so when his ex-wife was in court telling everyone how is was...no one believed her...now the T.R.U.T.H. comes out.

iblobar
iblobar

TOTAL WOOSIE,,,AND IGNORANT!

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

"You talking about a nigga sitting up there who was an athlete who didn't graduate and another nigga sitting up the who said he was the president who ain't graduated nothing and WE GOT A SCHOOL!"  Deion's own words.  It is as incredible to him as it is to the general public.  How can 2 non-educated novices who never completed college, have no history in the field of educating kids, and lied repeatedly on their application get approved for a charter school?  The answer:  Just be famous and know the right Senator and Commissioner and other political leaders in the state capitol.  I think Deion just admitted to being the recipient of special favors from elected leaders.  Senator Royce West and ex-Commissioner Robert Scott owes the taxpayers of Texas an explanation.

Threeboys
Threeboys

Deion is all about his image.  With his nickname on the front door and nothing but bad publicity surrounding this clown academy, it's his image that is taking the hit.  I don't blame him a bit for wanting the crooks (he allowed to be) running the school out so he can possibly change the narrative about this place.


The biggest story is the one James_the-P3 points out is the influence peddling Deion is implying happened in Austin.


And finally, who entrusts Deion Sanders and his associates with educating their children?  Parents have their kids there for the sports exposure, not an education.

LandryMiddleSchool
LandryMiddleSchool

Stipend as a verb? Oh Neon, thanks for the Friday lulz. Wish you'd take your troof and move to Ohio or Pennsylvania where a man of your stature can be fully appreciated.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Just shut up DS; I only cared when you could shut down one side of the field, and that was 20 years ago!

rferguson61
rferguson61

Mr. Sanders can't become financially wealthy from his charter school! It is very clear it was never about money! However, no one will allow themselves to be shorted! It is obvious he want to see more of the day to day function of the schools curriculum and how the teachers are presenting his or her lessons to his students, in order to strengthen the weakness! Hearing Mr. Sanders voice on the audio, does not display anything but a caring man! I hope he isn't forced to give up on his dream! The passion and vision will always remain! God Bless You!

benwellsstreet
benwellsstreet

So Deion doesn't swear, but he makes liberal use of the word "nigga"?

ruddski
ruddski

If PT needs work, there's an opening in the diplomatic corpse.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

the truth is this dude before he succumbed to turf toe..helped win our boys a "ship ..who cares if he steals later after he gave so much in 1995.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Oh, Amy, bubeleh.  Stop already with the Deion Sanders stories.

Dallasnewyork
Dallasnewyork

Ok so truthfully inform us all exactly what school did you attend and graduate from or did you even graduate at all? What extracurricular activities did you participate in that made you the "disciplined" individual you are today. What is your current occupation? Is it being socially incapable?

citylyfe37
citylyfe37

Rusk, I've read all your comments and they are obviously appalling & racially offensive. It sounds like you could be Hitler's twin brother. Not every black football player is a racist or a narcissist. Do your research on Warwick Dunn as an example. He has NEVER been in any trouble, builds and gives away homes every year.

I don't blame you totally, you are brain washed, on the typical "Anti Obama" and "Anti Black" bandwagon as your peers. Your parents probably never taught you better either.

I know whites that claim to be republicans and are a step away from needing government assistance themselves like the same people they hate. They can barely afford to put gas on their cars to go to work but they want to hate blacks and hate democrats. You, like these ignorant group of individuals need to WAKE UP and jump off that bandwagon off the nearest cliff.

rusknative
rusknative

@Fred-dorfman76 minority kids, no parents, minority substandard teachers, drop out statistics...has nothing to do with Rick Perry and everything to do with minorities taking over and destroying the public school systems.

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

@Threeboys You are so correct.  Deion is all about image and he has mastered the game of illusion.  Deion pretends to be very upset about his partner's self-enrichment, but that's Deion's goal as well.  He wants to attracts the best athletes, hope they excel in college sports, then set them up with his agent to sign huge contracts, then he (Deion) receives huge financial kickbacks from the athlete and the agent.  Anyone that knows Deion knows that he is the most narcissistic, egotistical, self-centered and money grubbing individual.  He pretends to do good, but there are ulterior motives behind everything he does. 

2DollaHolla
2DollaHolla

das nukka for ya gimme gimem gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme  gimme gimme mo muney

iblobar
iblobar

@rferguson61 U wish he was everything u mentioned,,not to be,,,he's a 'slickrick'.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@rferguson61"...no one will allow themselves to be shorted!"

I see. So it's the "principal" of the matter then? Why doesn't he just ask for more money for the coaches instead?

rferguson61
rferguson61

Nigger means an ignorant person! Look it up in the dictionary!

messwright
messwright

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  I disagree. The Observer is the only outlet that expressed concern before the school even opened and all its problems came to light,though there were plenty of red flags. Now, they are the only Dallas news media people proving that the school is a farce. Deion's own words acknowledge these men have no business being educators. How is no one else reporting on that? It's egregious. Imagine if you lost a year or two of high school and no one cared. What will happen to these kids now???

jeller1920
jeller1920

Hey citylyfe...u know what the difference is between those poor republicans and thedemocrats you campared them to?? Those Republicans have something called work ethic and pride. They would rather be valuable, respectable members of society rather than parasites dependent on those same republicans that can barely pay their own bills and put gas in their carsbecause they are stuck paying yours as well. Atleast they go to work. Dumbass

rferguson61
rferguson61

I believe the article mentioned, there are other coaches, besides staff, that receives very little! Mr. Sanders uses his salary, to pay for travel etc! Look at the school sustems throughout America: Teachers have been using their own money for supplies! The economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, do not have the same, computers, art, music etc! The parents are too poor to contribute to their childs school, nor to the majority has a job, that will match the funds raised! They clean their old computers out, and donate them to their childs school! This is why the children in suburban neighborhoods, has more of everything! It has nothing to do with the States allocated funds into the school system! Either way, viewing the situation in a 360 circle, meaning to look at something from all angles! You can't justify any negativity towards Mr. Sanders!

geofgreene
geofgreene

@rferguson61 take a seat and shut the hell up! You must not be of African decent if you believe that anyone calling a black man, woman or child a 'nigga' is the same as calling them ignorant. If you are of color, you must be the biggest Uncle Ruckus sell out, self hating old ass Negro that walks this planet.

Deion isn't intelligent enough to open ANY book let alone a dictionary. He meant it in the most vile way it was intended for! So when a white supremist calls me a nigger, all they were doing is substituting that word for ignorant...is that your understanding?

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

OK Mr. or Ms. Ferguson.  Put the Kool-Ade cup down... you've had enough.

2DollaHolla
2DollaHolla

WIC program comes in to save them right after highschool at age 18

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@messwright @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz If this rag actually did their research (and I love the DO, but just spend 10 minutes a day listening to The Ticket) they could put together where this is all going.


College players are attempting to form a "players association" also known as a union. They want to get paid legitimately. Everyone knows these kids are getting fucked financially  and what is coming. They will get it, eventually. And the people on the ground floor will reap the rewards. Prime Prep is poised to be the primary feeder school to college athletic programs in Texas (and the people that know how it all works, will make a bounty representing these kids) if they can get this off the ground for basketball and football.

rferguson61
rferguson61

So much negativity against Mr. Sanders! If her weren't famous or well known, would the school, be under scrutiny? The entire country school system has problems! It includes the economically disadvantaged neighborhoods! The children are behind in basic reading, math and technology! The students have to take a standarized test! The curriculum isn't standard from state to state! They are working on changing that! Outcry, it should have been done first! A problem requires a solution!

The test scores are biased!

wcvemail
wcvemail

@rferguson61 
"You can't justify any negativity towards Mr. Sanders!" Perhaps a legal investigation into influence peddling and political favors could justify all the negativity. You're an excitable, deluded fool to believe in that charlatan, despite all the evidence.
Oh, and !
!
!

!

oregonlawler
oregonlawler

@rferguson61  

Yeah, in what world? Go ahead and say the things he was saying and feel GOOD giving him a break...doin' the work of the Good Lord, no doubt, smiting the transgressor hip and thigh, if you believe in that.

YOU can't justify giving a man a pass, who's entire life has been a pass because he can talk as fast as he runs.He's so good,that he don't NEED that money, but he's gonna have his, right?

He can buy a bunch of nice, used computers, even after he 'stipends' his coaches.

You should go from justify to Petrify.


2DollaHolla
2DollaHolla

you mean the pinky with long fingernail for scoopin powder?

rferguson61
rferguson61

I assure you, I drink my 100% juice, with my pinky extended every time!

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@rferguson61 When you end every sentence with '!', it sort of defeats the purpose of '!' !!! You know what I mean?!

rferguson61
rferguson61

Since when college sports, did not generate money to the schools! The educators could care less, if they were educated! The pressure that is placed on college athletes has always been great! You get a poor child in any college sport, his priority is making it to the pros! The courses some have taken to fulfill their tuition credits, basket weaving etc! They blow through their money, they were not prepared, by their institution of higher learning! Let us not forget the truth! Mr. Sanders says it is important the children at his school receives an education, before playing sports! You know how much money scalpers make off of college sports, during the finals?!

wcvemail
wcvemail

@rferguson61 If "her" weren't famous, then there would not be a school with "her" name, that's simple -- like you. Oh, and !

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