Deion Sanders and the Jackson State Tigers football program are preparing to begin defense of their 2021 SWAC championship. The Tigers will travel to Miami to face conference foe FAMU at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
The game known as the Orange Blossom Classic, will pit arguably the best coaches in the SWAC against one another in Coach Prime and FAMUs Willie Simmons. ESPN will provide coverage of the big game, and both teams will be looking to get a leg up in the conference race.
Both programs will be coming into the game dealing with some distractions created by outside forces. The Tigers are currently dealing with a water crisis that’s affected the city of Jackson, Mississippi. The crisis has forced the team to take shelter at area hotels until they leave for sunny Florida on Thursday. In a video posted to Coach Prime’s Instagram account, he gave us a little intel as to what was going on.
“We’ve been hit with a little crisis in the city of Jackson. We don’t have water; no water means we don’t have air conditioning. We can’t use toilets. We don’t have water, therefore we don’t have ice, which pretty much places a burden on the program. So right now, we’re operating in crisis mode.”
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, whom Sanders has called a dear friend in the past, issued a state of emergency that’s slated to last until at least Thursday.
Sanders Takes Players To Hotels
“I got to get these kids off campus … into a hotel and accommodate them so that they can shower properly and take care of their needs, make sure all our kids are fed and all our kids have the necessities of life for the next several days until this crisis [ends]. That’s what we’re operating with right now.”
Sanders further addressed the inconvenience.
“We’re going to find somewhere to practice, find somewhere that can accommodate every darn thing that we need and desire to be, and that’s dominant. The devil is a lie. He ain’t going to get us today baby.”
THE DEVIL IS A LIE! JSU Football’s toughest opponent is the Jackson Water crisis https://t.co/twUaQrPAzl
— Deion Sanders Jr (@DeionSandersJr) August 30, 2022
On Tuesday Sanders and staff went scrambling for hotels for the players. Sanders also mentioned they’d have to have food delivered for the student-athletes as well. But the main thing was to get the players into a hotel with a bed and a shower. After finding what they needed to accommodate them, the team is still practicing back on campus, although they’re not doing anything else there.
Deion Sanders says the JSU football team and university have no clean water after the flooding crisis. https://t.co/3V8rRbAgla
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) August 30, 2022
FAMU Dealing With Ineligible Players
Last weekend, the Rattlers’ game against UNC was almost canceled when it was revealed that the Rattlers would have as many as 20 ineligible players, including Isaiah Land, the reigning Buck Buchanan Award winner. That award is given to the FCS Defensive Player of the Year. Land’s ineligibility stems from him entering the transfer portal this offseason then deciding to return to FAMU.
In what is being called another blunder by the NCAA, Land and others have retained a lawyer in hopes of getting their eligibility reinstated in time for Sunday’s showdown.
The Rattlers began their season with a 56-24 loss at UNC without those aforementioned 20 players. But they played well trailing only 35-24 with 12 minutes left in the game.
Sunday’s huge SWAC battle will be broadcast live on ESPN. JSU won last year’s rain-soaked battle 7-6.
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