Alcorn State ‘Declares Independence’ from Capital City Classic
Alcorn State University today announced its withdrawal from the annual Capital City Classic game with in-state rival Jackson State University. Citing a consensus from ASU athletic leadership and alumni support, the Braves will exercise their option to play JSU in Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium on Nov. 17.
“I have reviewed all the contracts going back through President Bristow. The dissolution of the independent Capital City Classic Committee poisoned the event, and we have been on life-support ever since. The time has come to pull the plug,” said Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown in a release. ” This is Alcorn’s home game and we will play it at home.” “I have wrestled with the Capital City Classic – Soul Bowl issue since being named in 2010. As president, I have a fiscal and leadership responsibility to Alcorn State University and this decision is in our best long-term interest. It makes this most sense at this point in our history. All contracts for this Classic have expired and there is no viable offer on the table that makes sense for me to sign.”
Among the issues cited by the university in breaking away from the classic were the absence of a regular corporate sponsor providing revenues to both schools. Dr. Brown cited Shreveport’s support of the Port City Classic, which features Grambling State University, as an example of civic buy-in for such a contest. He also cited Jackson State’s control of Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum as an obstacle to ‘neutral field’ locale for the Classic.
Alcorn athletic director Dwyane White says that the withdrawal will create a new level of interest from prospective students and athletes in the Braves’ program.
“As an Alcorn alum and now administrator, I know firsthand the importance of hosting prospective students and high school athletes on campus to allow them to see the quality of the facilities. Alcorn has a beautiful campus with lots of new construction that never get showcased by playing annually in Jackson.”
School officials say that the a possible return to a neutral field meeting would be possible with the commitment of a title sponsor and under another designation. Alcorn State was named ‘HBCU of the Year’ earlier this year by the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy at the 2012 HBCU Awards.