Former Cowboy Deion Sanders Not Out at Prime Prep Academy

Charter school says former football player's administrative role will be expanded

Friday, Oct 11, 2013  |  Updated 11:10 PM CDT
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Prime Prep Academy announced Friday morning that Sanders was

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

Prime Prep Academy announced Friday morning that Sanders was "no longer an employee or representative for Prime Prep Academy" as of Thursday. But Friday afternoon, the charter school said Sanders is still with the school and that the former Dallas Cowboy's role is being restructured..

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Deion Sanders Still With Prime Prep Academy

Despite earlier appearing to cut ties with Deion Sanders, the charter school he helped found now says that the former Dallas Cowboy's role is being restructured.

Deion Sanders, School Administrator Scuffle

Deion Sanders and a Prime Prep Academy Dallas school administrator got into an altercation on school grounds.
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Despite earlier appearing to cut ties with Deion Sanders, the charter school he helped found now says that the former Dallas Cowboy's role is being restructured.

Prime Prep Academy announced Friday morning that Sanders was "no longer an employee or representative for Prime Prep Academy" as of Thursday. In a statement that was still on the school website Friday afternoon, the chairman of Prime Prep's governing body, Uplift Fort Worth, said he supported the decision to end the relationship between Sanders and the school.

But Prime Prep co-founder, D.L. Wallace, said later Friday that the statement lacked clarity, saying that Sanders' original agreement was rescinded in favor of expanding the Hall of Famer's administrative role.

"No matter what you heard, we are a team and, until further notice, that's what we're going to be," Wallace said.

"The school can't be called 'Prime Prep Academy' and I have no say in regards to certain intricacies and works around the school," Sanders said.

Sanders reportedly got into a "scuffle" with Kevin Jefferson, Prime Prep's chief financial officer, on the grounds of the Dallas campus on Wednesday.

Jefferson filed a report with Dallas police, saying Sanders assaulted him during a staff meeting. He told police that Sanders "grabbed him by the collar and pushed him into a wall."

Sanders told NBC 5 on Thursday that the two "locked up and separated" in front of a number of witnesses after having an argument over student progress at the school. He said he was "sticking up for the students" at the school and that no punches were thrown.

"I can be faulted for walking around here like Crazy Joe from 'Lean on Me,' but, trust me, there's been no physicality whatsoever," Sanders said Friday.

Sanders accused Jefferson of financial impropriety, as did former Prime Prep Principal Charlie Garza.

"Wallace told me point-blank that he did not want success for the students," he said. "Instead, if the school got on AYP, which stands for average yearly progress, it would receive more federal funds so, again, it goes back to money."

Wallace said he would not comment on personnel matters.

"Let me comment on this part of the equation -- I don't receive a salary from Prime Prep Academy," he said. "I make sure everything we can do is done."

Sanders and Wallace both said that they come from different backgrounds and have different visions for education. Ultimately, they may want different things, they said.

This is not the first time Sanders and the charter school have made headlines.After it was first announced by Sanders in 2012, Prime Prep battled accusations of recruiting student athletes to the school, then fought over the eligibility of certain players before pulling out of the University Interscholastic League entirely last November.

NBC 5's Randy McIlwain and Greg Janda contributed to this report.

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