HBCU Alcorn State played South Alabama on ESPN3 on Saturday live from Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
In doing so the school secured a payday of $360,000, which will go a long way toward improving athletic facilities and resources that are less than suitable for their student athletes
The game almost never happened. As late as Thursday, when TLS first ran a story on the situation, Alcorn State still didn’t have an athletic trainer and the university was calling the problem a “resource issue.”
No Train, No Game
Certified athletic trainers are required to be on-site at games and at practice, per NCAA rules, in the event of injury or treatment needed for student-athletes.
Alcorn State does not have any full-time athletic trainers. The program has used part-time trainers this season.
When Coach Prime, whose presence has also created some low-key animosity and hateration brewing from rival football programs, caught wind of his in-state rivals’ predicament he showed some love and offered his support in getting Alcorn State some athletic trainers.
Deion Sanders offered to help out Alcorn State, which missed two days of practice last week due to not having athletic trainers available. https://t.co/UUr5toZd3Q
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 21, 2021
According to the Clarion Ledger, Prime said:
“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. A close loss to South Alabama, which competes in the Football Subdivision, was salt in the wounds.
Alcorn head coach Fred McNair, brother of the late great Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair, said the loss of practices cost his team a possible upset and the situation was frustrating to the players, who contemplated some sort of protest action.
Prior to the game, McNair threw Alcorn State President M. Christopher Brown II under the bus and let it be known on his weekly radio show that he wants a solution from the administration ASAP.
His recruiting class is considered among the best in HBCU history, and he’s become a big brother for the entire SWAC conference. A respected voice that has committed his brand to transforming and supporting the culture at HBCUs across America.
His gesture toward Alcorn State is another example of his concern for the HBCU community as a whole. Hopefully, he stays awhile, because a coach with his connections and charisma will be heavily pursued by powerhouse schools.