Deion Sanders Says Dez Bryant 'Needs Help'

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 25, 2011 11:40 AM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

DALLAS – Former NFL superstar Deion Sanders told ESPN Friday that former Oklahoma State receiver and current Dallas Cowboy Dez Bryant “needs help.”

Bryant was removed from NorthPark Mall in Dallas earlier in the week after he was asked by an off-duty police officer to pull his pants up and responded with repeated obscenities.

“I’m upset but not surprised whatsoever,” Sanders said on an ESPN radio show.

Sanders has mentored several college players as they try to become acclimated to the NFL, but said he stopped mentoring Bryant months ago because he was worried Bryant would negatively affect other young people he advises.

“He needs help. He needs help,” Sanders said. “I told the Cowboys from day one that he needs help. Matter of fact, they have a team in place to help him. But you cannot tell a grown man what to do.”

Bryant had a relationship with Sanders while he was at Oklahoma State and ate lunch at Sanders house. When asked about that meeting by the NCAA, Bryant lied about it and was suspended for the rest of the year.

“I wish Deion would come to me as a man and talk to me," Bryant said. “I've been reaching out to Deion. I've never done anything wrong to Deion or disrespected him. I've never lied to Deion.”

Sanders said his relationship with Bryant ended last summer and he has not spoken to the receiver since. He added that he does not think he can help Bryant.

“I don't have a problem with you lying to me. That's one thing,” Sanders said. “But when you lie to yourself as a man, you have a serious problem and that's where this kid is. And I can't condone it. I really can't. It tarnishes everything else I'm trying to develop in these kids [in his youth program]. I can't allow you to poison other kids that I'm trying to mentor and take to another level.”

Sanders complimented the work done by Bryant’s adviser David Wells, whom Sanders has known for almost 20 years. Sanders cited Bryant’s childhood issues as one of the reasons he needs help, but said he does not plan on being a part of that process.

“I haven't spoken to the kid,” Sanders said. “I have no desire to speak to the kid. In regards to me, I can forgive, but I can't forget. You can't tarnish the other things that I have going on and the other kids. It's sort of like I can't allow something to poison the fruit of many other kids. I can't do it, so I cut off those ties a long time ago.”