*Deion Sanders, head football coach at Jackson State University, is being sued by the organizers of the Southern Heritage Classic for calling the game “a hustle”
Sanders and the university are named in the lawsuit filed by Summitt Management Corporation, which runs the event, after the ex-NFLer ripped the game and pulled his team from participation in the annual event.
Here’s more from brobible.com:
The Southern Heritage Classic has been played every year since 1990 and pits Sanders’ Jackson State Tigers against the Tennessee State Tigers. Recently, Deion Sanders announced that his Jackson State team would be ending its contract following the 2022 game, held annually at Memphis’ Liberty Bowl.
Jackson State’s five-year agreement with the game reportedly runs through 2024.
“It’s a hustle,” Sanders said recently on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, via Football Scoop. “We’re losing money, tremendously. This particular classic that you’re talking about, first of all, why would two colleges need a promoter? You’re two colleges and you have A.D.s, why would you need a promoter, that’s No. 1.
“Secondly, I think the fee was like over 30 years, $6 million. That’s peanuts. So by the time you take seven buses for the band, four buses for the players, couple (buses) for people, assistants, hotel accommodations, food, you’re out of that. That $180-200 grand, you’re out of that. So you didn’t make nothing. You really came up there on a blank trip. We gotta stop that foolishness. The first thing we need to take care of as HBCUs is the business aspect of everything, and that’s something we’re changing right now. We’re taking care of business,” he added.
Tennessee State said Jackson State’s decision to pull out of the game is “an insensitive and irresponsible act.”
“The Memphis business community, including small Black-owned businesses, many of which are mom and pop businesses, will suffer incalculable damage,” wrote Tennessee State President Glenda Glover. “These businesses rely on contracts that are generated as a result of activities associated with the game and purchase supplies and other items in preparation for this annual event.
“What’s even more disappointing is that there was no opportunity for discussion or a courtesy call to the TSU president, director of athletics, or head coach before the decision was made to breach the contract which has three years remaining. TSU found out from a national scheduler.”
Per MSN, the lawsuit names Jackson State and the Southwestern Athletic Conference as well as the Defendant Board of Trustees of the “State Institutions of Higher Learning as the constitutional governing body of the Mississippi state institutions of higher learning, which includes defendant JSU.”
Jackson State is expected to participate in this year’s game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.