The Alcorn State decision to opt-out of spring football will have repercussions past the spring season, the SWAC announced. The conference released the following statement on Wednesday morning:
Over the past two weeks, the Southwestern Athletic Conference was formally notified of Alcorn State University’s intent to opt-out of the spring 2021 football season slated to start on February 21.
As a result, the Conference office attempted to reschedule games that were subsequently lost due to this decision; but based upon the uniqueness related to the spring season scheduling model, the league was unable to reschedule any of the contests that were impacted. Consequently, the Conference office applied the previously agreed-upon football policies related to game cancellations and rescheduling.
In order to ensure overall equity and cohesiveness with the spring football schedule, all Alcorn State conference games for the spring season will be considered no contest forfeitures with wins being awarded to Alcorn State’s scheduled opponents. Conference policy states that a member institution that is unable to participate in all or in part of the designated Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule, shall forfeit all impacted games.
The Conference office will also adjust the fall football schedule to include away contests for Alcorn State at Southern University and Mississippi Valley State University. Additionally, the league will adjust future football scheduling to include an Alcorn State contest at Alabama A&M University in order to fulfill conference scheduling requirements within the league’s ten-year schedule.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference remains collectively committed to providing its student-athletes with the opportunity to compete in intercollegiate sports activities in environments that prioritize their overall health, safety, and mental well-being.
Alcorn State’s opt-out sent shockwaves around the SWAC earlier this month. While COVID-19 concerns were given as the reason for the opt-out, sources say that other non-pandemic related issues were the driving force behind a decision that was announced less than three weeks before its season opener at Alabama A&M.
Alabama A&M coach Connell Maynor and Southern University AD Roman Banks have questioned Alcorn’s motives for dropping out and whether or not it should be practicing.