Alcorn State announces it will opt out of spring football season

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2021

LORMAN — Alcorn State University announced Tuesday it will opt out of the 2021 spring football season due to concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to concerns and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming spring football season, we have determined opting out is our best course of action,” Athletic Director Derek Horne said in a statement. “This is indeed a difficult decision, and I’m especially mindful this will be disappointing news to our student-athletes, along with our dedicated fans and supporters.”

Alcorn State won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in 2018 and 2019, and has won six consecutive East Division titles.

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“The football program is our largest sport and involves over half our student-athletes on campus, and a decision of this magnitude is also made with the best interests of the community in mind. We looked forward to defending our conference title; however, in these unprecedented times, the safety of the players, coaches, staff, and fans is our top priority.”

Head coach Fred McNair said the program will now move ahead with a “traditional spring practice” schedule. Alcorn was scheduled to play its first game on Feb. 27, at Alabama A&M. It had set a six-game schedule for the spring, which would have been followed by a full 11-game schedule beginning in September.

“Instead of preparing for spring competition, the program will move forward with traditional spring practice to prepare for fall play,” McNair said. “With ongoing health and safety protocols in place, the team will continue with monitored conditioning, strength training, and practices.”