Prime Prep Academy, a charter school with campuses in Dallas and Fort Worth, has been troubled almost from the moment Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders announced his plan to open it last September.
Within months, a pair of local news reports had exposed phantom corporate donations and questionable real-estate agreements contained in the school's application to the Texas board of education. Last month Prime Prep's football team was banned from varsity play because 80% of its players live outside the district.
On Aug. 29, Sanders, the team's co-coach, stood by as his squad broke from practice and crossed a busy street to surround and harass a TV reporter. Another coach had earlier chased the reporter from the public park in which the team was practicing. (Sanders couldn't be reached for comment, and no one from the academy responded to an e-mail requesting an interview.)
Competing as a jayvee team, Prime Prep dropped its opener 50--6 on Aug. 31 and fell 48--30 last Friday. Those aren't the kinds of results Sanders had in mind last month when he was asked what Prime Prep's mascot would be. His answer: "Winning."
KELLEY CHIN (SANDERS)