Kentucky State vs. Jackson State
Photo: Amanda Gerton

Kentucky State is calling out Jackson State and its new head football coach Deion Sanders to a rematch in 2021 at the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis.

In a friendly open letter addressed to Sanders penned on Friday by Kentucky State University President Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, Brown congratulated Sanders on his “celebrated appointment” and welcomed him to “HBCU football.”

“As an HBCU sports fan and administrator, I am writing this open letter to invite you to prioritize scheduling of a football rematch between Jackson State University and my current institution, Kentucky State University as one of your first acts as head coach,” Brown wrote. “If you are not fearful of failing to meet Tiger expectations early in your tenure, you are welcome to meet the Kentucky State University Thorobreds in Indianapolis for the 2021 Circle City Classic – one of the nation’s premier black college football classics outside of the southeastern United States and one of Indiana’s signature sporting events.”

An NCAA Division II member of the SIAC, Kentucky State defeated Jackson State in the 2019 Circle City Classic 33-25. The Thorobreds rushed for 353 yards on 48 carries and completed only one pass for 31 yards on only three attempts.

The Tigers, led by then-head coach John Hedrick finished the 2019 season at 4-8. Last August, Jackson State announced the removal of Hendrick as head coach. Hendrick went 6-9 in two seasons at JSU, which included going 5-5 in the SWAC after taking over from Tony Hughes in 2018.

Kentucky State completed the 2019 season with a 7-3 record, including a win over FCS member Robert Morris.

“As a prohibitive favorite in the SWAC, only you know as the head coach if the Tigers are prepared to face the Thorobreds in a 2021 rematch. The Thorobreds fully understand if the stakes are too high at this time.” Brown wrote.

Read the entire letter below.



  1. Kentucky State: hey can you play is so our team can be on TV and school get some much needed exposure please??? I ain’t mad at him…its good for hbcu sports…but it felt kinda needy instead of good spirited trash talk…maybe I’m wrong…

  2. A division 2 school wants to play coach Prime. There’s nothing in it for JSU but it’s notoriety for KSU. I would tell them step up to D1 then we can talk. The JSU team this year is not being built to waste time with a D2 school.


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