Prime Prep Academy had announced it was parting ways with Sanders after allegations surfaced that he assaulted a school administrator Wednesday. A police investigation is reportedly underway but no charges have been filed.
Friday afternoon, T. Christopher Lewis, chairman of the board of Uplift Fort Worth which governs Prime Prep, said that Sanders was still employed by the school. He has served as athletic director and a football coach.
“We have decided that we are going to continue to work together to accomplish the…goals that we set out,” Lewis told The News.
Charlie Garza, a former assistant superintendent at Prime Prep, told The News that Sanders said he would continue coaching and leave at the end of the current school year. Garza, who reportedly was let go by the school due to lack of funds, said Sanders plans to open a Montessori school and wants him to run it.
Kevin Jefferson, the chief financial officer for Prime Prep, told The News that Sanders physically assaulted him over a disagreement about the academic struggles of the school’s athletes.
“He hurried to the back of the classroom and was kind of standing over me, so I stood up and he grabbed me by my throat, my collar and my jacket,” Jefferson said.
Jefferson said he was thrown to the ground and suffered bruises on his ribs and back, an injured hip and a sore throat, according to the police report.
“Four or five administrators had to get him off of me,” Jefferson said.
Sanders denied the allegation in a series of interviews and Twitter postings.
“Jefferson was not beat down,” Sanders told WFAA-TV. “Mr. Jefferson and I got into a confrontation about the welfare of these kids. And we’ll get into another one. Until you start taking care of these kids, I’m going to be on a rampage.”
Sanders took to Twitter Thursday to defend himself. One post on his @DeionSanders account stated,
I won’t sit&witness my PrimePrep kids receive 2nds when they deserve the BEST EDUCATION!There was NO assault but a definite confrontation.
Sanders also told TMZ.com: “We locked up with one another…but he was not physically assaulted.”
Sanders added: “He’s looking for a pay day. I did nothing to that gentleman that warranted an assault.”
Sanders and Prime Prep have been the subject of controversy since the school opened last fall. Prime Prep, which has campuses in Dallas and Fort Worth and kids from kindergarten to grade 12, has been accused of recruiting top players from other schools and failed to meet academic standards this year under the state’s new rating system. Eligibility conflicts with its local competition district led to Prime Prep withdrawing its affiliation with the statewide organization that governs public school athletics.
A press release posted Thursday to the school’s web site said Sanders is no longer affiliated with Prime Prep.
“Effective immediately, Deion Sanders is no longer an employee or representative for Prime Prep Academy,” the release from superintendent Rachel M. King-Sanders stated.
That was followed by another press release early Friday from Lewis:
“On behalf of the board of directors of Uplift Fort Worth…I write in support of the decision to end the relationship between Prime Prep Academy and Mr. Deion Sanders…The school family wishes Mr. Sanders much success in his future endeavors.”