Southern’s losing streak against Alcorn State in football has ended — at least technically.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference office has ruled Alcorn’s decision to opt out of the spring 2021 season will result in forfeits of the six games it was scheduled to play, including one at Southern on March 27.
Southern has lost its past eight games against Alcorn on the field, including the past two SWAC championship games.
Alcorn will also forfeit games to Mississippi Valley, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Texas Southern and Jackson State. Those schools will not be allowed to reschedule other opponents.
Additionally, the league will move Alcorn’s 2021 scheduled fall home games against Southern and Mississippi Valley to those schools to satisfy home-and-home scheduling patterns. That will give Southern six home games for the 2021 fall season.
“I’m pleased — we all are — that with the power given to the commissioner, he governed by the policies, procedures and bylaws with consistency,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks said. “From that standpoint, you can’t ask for more. There are some other concerns that some of our laws might be dated, and we need to as a body make a recommendation to give the commissioner more power in mitigating circumstances.”
Alcorn State announced last week it was opting out of the SWAC's spring season because of COVID-19 pandemic issues. The school said in a release it would conduct normal spring practice in preparation for the fall season, but the league office has yet to decide if it would allow Alcorn to opt out of the spring season and still conduct spring practice.
Banks said there is no provision in conference rules for preventing Alcorn from conducting spring practice. Those rules are set in the NCAA rulebook, he said.
According to a statement from the league office, SWAC officials tried to reschedule games but were unable because of the “uniqueness related to the spring season scheduling model.”
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
In addition to Alcorn’s 2021 home games being moved to Southern and Mississippi Valley, Alcorn will play at Alabama A&M to fulfill conference scheduling requirements within the league’s 10-year plan.