In an admirable move of solidarity, Jackson State University coach Deion Sanders has agreed to help Alcorn State University with athletic trainers, a problem that is affecting ASU’s ability to play games. Get the full story from Rashad Milligan at the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders wants to help an in-state rival.
Sanders offered his assistance to get the Alcorn State football program some athletic trainers during Monday’s Southwestern Athletic Conference call.
“I could get them (some trainers),” Sanders said. “I’m not trying to (belittle them), but that’s phone calls, man. I mean, I wish we have the relationship that we could call each other, because, how many hospitals we have here in the city? I promise, I would’ve done it myself, sent you several trainers back because those kids deserve to get down, they deserve to play. We can’t practice? Because the trainers? Like, please.”
The Braves missed two days of practice last week due to not having available trainers on campus, reportedly because of COVID-19-related issues.
“You have to have a certified athletic trainer on campus in the building to do these things, and we didn’t have one,” Alcorn State coach Fred McNair said on his radio show last week. “That’s such a discouraging thing to me that we’re not doing a good enough job to bring in someone of our own to be an athletic trainer at Alcorn State University.”
Alcorn State has no full-time trainers on staff and have used part-time trainers this season.
Despite missing the two days of practice, the Braves nearly upset South Alabama, which competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision, 28-21. On Monday, McNair said his players missed opportunities to condition without the practices.
“My brother McNair, and that’s a darn good coach,” Sanders said. “That’s a darn good, shoot, good team. Man, my brother McNair, if you can hit me right now, if you have a problem call me. If I can help, I’m going to help. Immediately. This is bigger than the little rivalry. This is about these kids, man. And I got love for that brother. He’s a good dude.”
Jackson State and Alcorn State have one of the fiercest rivalries in Mississippi, known as The Soul Bowl. This season’s Soul Bowl is set to take place at on Nov. 20 in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium to close the regular season.
Sanders said when Southern Miss recruited his son Shedeur in high school, he attended USM’s game against Alcorn State and spoke to McNair and the Braves in the locker room after the game because he knew how good the program was in the SWAC.
Sanders said Alcorn’s lack of trainers was not McNair’s fault.
“Now, that’s a problem up top,” Sanders said. “That that’s not him, that’s a problem somewhere else there, that’s a problem for him. We need to address that, and whoever is allowing that to happen needs to be checked. You get this man, he has a wonderful program year after year, and he wins. And you’re going to allow that to happen to him? Please. That’s one of our treasures in the HBCU, we’ve got to have his back.”
Alcorn State travels to face Arkansas-Pine Bluff at on Thursday night.