After almost a 30-year run with Jackson State College (JSU), Tennessee State College (TSU) may have a brand new opponent within the annual Southern Heritage Basic soccer recreation as The College of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) takes the mantle.
Yearly, followers pack out the stadium in Memphis for the Southern Heritage Basic. This yr was no totally different as greater than 51,000 followers got here out in September to what they feared often is the final recreation, in line with WLBT.
On Wednesday, their fears subsided when it was introduced that UAPB can be changing JSU within the annual recreation.
UAPB is lower than 200 miles away from Memphis and was a pure match in line with Southern Heritage Basic founder, Fred Jones.
“It was my primary selection particularly after I began to do the analysis Little Rock, Arkansas, is the highest 5 feeders into Memphis by way of tourism,” Jones informed WLBT.
Though UAPB is a smaller college in comparison with JSU, Jones is bound that they’ll deliver the identical numbers and pleasure. Jones stated native enthusiasm went into the choice for the College of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“There are quite a lot of alums from the varsity within the Memphis space after which Arkansas particularly across the Little Rock space is an enormous feeder marketplace for Memphis tourism space already,” Jones stated to ABC24.
This transformation marks the primary time in over 20 years that Jackson State received’t be collaborating within the Southern Heritage Basic.
Earlier this yr, JSU’s former head coach Deion Sanders publicly criticized the amount of cash the varsity was being paid to take part and known as for the varsity to tug out of the sport.
This resulted in Jones and his administration firm suing JSU for breach of contract as the varsity signed a contract in 2019 to play in Memphis by 2024.
Jones says he and JSU have reached a settlement. “We had an excellent relationship for 29 years, and you realize, adjustments needed to be made and we made them and we’re shifting on,” he stated.
UAPB and Tennessee State College would be the featured groups for the following two years and preparations for the sport are already within the works.