Head Football Coach Deion Sanders Offers Assistance to In-State Rivals

In Summary

Jackson State head football coach Deion Sanders is putting football rivalries aside, offering to help to Alcorn State amid their search for athletic trainers. 

Deion Sanders, the head coach of Jackson State University’s football team, has offered his help in finding athletic trainers for the Alcorn State University football team, per Mississippi Clarion Ledger’s Rashad Milligan

The Braves skipped two days of practice last week because of a lack of available trainers on campus, allegedly due to COVID-19-related issues. 

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Alcorn State coach Fred McNair said it’s discouraging, and during an athletic Southwestern Athletic Conference call on Monday, Sanders said he’s happy to help. 

“I could get them [some trainers],” Sanders said, as reported by Milligan. “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.” 

Alcorn State has no full-time trainers on staff and has relied on part-time trainers this season, and McNair believes his players have missed out on conditioning opportunities due to the lack of practices. 

Sanders went on to refer to McNair as his brother and praise him as a great coach. He added that McNair is not to blame for Alcorn’s lack of trainers. 

“Man, my brother McNair, if you can hit me right now, if you have a problem call me,” he said. “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.” 

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The Soul Bowl college football matchup is a strong rivalry between Jackson State and Alcorn State, Mississippi’s two largest historically Black colleges and universities. It was previously known as the Capital City Classic and was held in Jackson every year from 1993 through 2011, before being relocated on an alternate schedule between Jackson and Lorman in 2012. 

This year’s Soul Bowl, which will conclude the regular season on Nov. 20, will be held in Jackson at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

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