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Jackson State University backs out of Southern Heritage Classic

The university announced Wednesday to the Southern Heritage Classic that new agreements "conflict with their participation" in the annual game

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jackson State University (JSU), one of the two annual participants in Memphis' Southern Heritage Classic, announced Wednesday they are no longer participating in the event. 

In a letter sent to the Southern Heritage Classic, school officials said that the Southwestern Athletic Conference, JSU's governing athletic conference, has entered into an agreement in which JSU will participate in events that conflict with the Southern Heritage Classic Agreement, which the school entered into in November 2019. 

In the letter, JSU General Counsel Edward Watson said that this conflict serves as their termination notice for the game. 

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This marks the first time since the Southern Heritage Classic's inception in 1990 that Jackson State won't participate and compete against their HBCU counterpart Tennessee State.

Organizers for the game say the Classic, which last year ranked 4th in attendance among historically black college and university classic football games in the country, has become a driving force for increasing revenue for Tennessee State and Jackson State. 

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