Jackson State will no longer participate in the Southern Heritage Classic football game featuring the Tigers and Tennessee State, according to multiple reports.
Southern Heritage Classic founder Fred Jones said JSU informed him on Tuesday night of the school’s plans to terminate the agreement, which wasn’t supposed to end until 2024.
“As far as right now, they said they want to terminate the agreement,” Jones said to the Clarion-Ledger. “That’s all we have right now. There will be a response back from us to the lawyer later today.”
Also read: Legion Field set to host series of ‘SWAC Classic’ football games
Officials at Jackson State indicate that the termination is due to a scheduling conflict created by a new event and agreement the school entered into with the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
“On or about Nov. 8, 2019, Jackson State University entered into the Southern Heritage Classic agreement with Summitt Management Corporation relating to JSU’s participation in the Southern Heritage Classic,” JSU general council Edwards Waters said to Jones in a letter obtained by WJTV in Jackson. “Since that time, the Southwestern Athletic Conference, JSU’s governing athletic alliance has entered into an agreement in which JSU will participate in events that conflict with the Southern Heritage Classic.”
Last week, the SWAC announced that it had entered into an agreement with the City of Birmingham to allow a series of games to be played at Legion Field that is projected to feature Jackson State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Southern from 2022 through 2024.
Played at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the Southern Heritage Classic featuring Jackson State and Tennessee State had become a signature early-season rivalry game that oftentimes was one of the highest attended HBCU classic football games.