Alcorn State president Christopher Brown is “strongly considering” scrapping the Capital City Classic and returning the school’s annual football game with Jackson State to the respective home campuses, he announced in a statement Friday.
The Clarion-Ledger first reported the story late Thursday night with this blog post.
Brown, hired in January, has created a committee to “perform a comprehensive review of the history and future of the Capital City Classic,” he announced in the statement. The committee will return its findings to Brown wihthin 90 days, he said.
UPDATE: Below is an official statement released by Alcorn State.
Alcorn President Wants a Return to ‘Soul Bowl’
Appoints committee to study withdrawing from Capital City Classic
Alcorn, State, Mississippi – In response to recent media reports concerning Alcorn State University’s future involvement with the Capital City Classic, Dr. M Christopher Brown II, 18th President of Alcorn, announced the following in a campus staff meeting:
“Recently, at our alumni’s annual mid-winter conference, in Chicago, I was approached by a number of alums with strong concerns about the past and future of the Capital City Classic. Many expressed a strong interest in the idea of returning the annual football contest between Alcorn State and Jackson State back to each school’s respective football stadiums in the game that was fondly known as the ‘Soul Bowl’. I am strongly considering and am in favor of this option.”
According to Alcorn’s Chief of Staff Marcus Ward, “For 15 years, from 1993 to 2008, Alcorn State University and Jackson State University have participated in a spirited, football rivalry that was full of rich and colorful tradition and attracted crowds of 50-60,000 fans on an annual basis. The Capital City Classic is not simply a game – it has been a major economic event for the City of Jackson and the state of Mississippi. For the past three years, members of the Alcorn community have consistently expressed discontent with the Capital City Classic to us.”
President Brown stated, “The truth of the matter is that the Capital City Classic has not been the same over the last three years. The game has lost attendance; alumni and sponsors are losing interest; and quite frankly, the University has lost revenue. While there are other ancillary factors that are attributable to its decline, I have a fiduciary responsibility, as president, to steward our resources in the best interests of Mississippi’s taxpayers.”
Dr. Brown continued, “In an effort to address concerns, I am directing my Chief of Staff Marcus Ward to commission a blue ribbon committee to perform a comprehensive review of the history and future of the The Capital City Classic. The Committee will analyze the Classic thoroughly including the game and auxiliary events and will also develop and present a plan for a “Return to the Soul Bowl”. This Committee will report its findings to me within 90 days and I will then communicate Alcorn’s final position going forward.”
President Brown concluded by stating, “Let me say also, we appreciate and value our powerful partnership with our sister school Jackson State University. This matter, in no way, reflects upon our strong and unique history and relationship that goes beyond football. We look forward to working closely with President Meyers and her able staff to advance higher education and intercollegiate athletics in Mississippi and the nation.”