Fred McNair, Alcorn State
Photo: Alcorn State Athletics

Alcorn State sustained a significant setback in preparing for its upcoming opponent after it was revealed that the team is unable to practice because of the lack of athletic trainers.

Braves head coach Fred McNair explained the bizarre situation Monday night during his radio show.

“The biggest thing that is such a heartbreaking thing, is when you have (a) meeting in the morning time, to talk about a great win and move on to the next game and come to find out we can’t practice because we don’t have athletic trainers on campus,” McNair said. “That’s deflating. That’s unacceptable for me as a football coach. …

Also read: Alcorn State hasn’t played a football game in more than 600 days. The Braves road to a SWAC championship starts Saturday

“We got a big game (at South Alabama) that’s going to make the university money, and we can’t go out and get treatment for the young men and women. We can’t get treatment or rehab on this day, not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow. This is something that needs to be fixed. This is an administration issue. I could talk about it all the way till I turn blue. This has got to be fixed. We’ve got to be able to pay somebody to be the Alcorn State athletic trainer, and we don’t have one. That’s disheartening. I told the players the reason we weren’t going to practice this morning was because we didn’t have a certified trainer and you could hear the room. It was a bad feeling for me to have to tell the guys.”

Reports indicated that several members of an already limited athletic training staff tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement Monday, Alcorn State athletics director Derek Horne indicated that athletic programs have “modified their practice schedule because of a COVID-19 related issue.”

The unique circumstance comes months after Alcorn State opted out of the 2021 spring season because of COVID-19 concerns. It was speculated that a lack of training staff contributed to the decision.

Alcorn State is scheduled to play at South Alabama on Saturday.

“I don’t keep nothing from these kids,” McNair said. “These young men and young women deserve a whole lot better than what they’re getting here as far as the athletic training and all that. They deserve better. This is disheartening.”


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