The company that owns the Southern Heritage Classic football game in Memphis is suing Jackson State University after head coach Deion Sanders called the game a “Hustle”. The company claims that Jackson State is breaching their contract.
“It’s a hustle,” said Sanders, whose program has indicated it will participate in the 2022 event against Tennessee State but would void its contract for future meetings of the event held annually in Memphis. “We’re losing money, tremendously. This particular classic that you’re talking about, first of all, why would two colleges need a promoter? You’re two colleges and you have A.D.s, why would you need a promoter, that’s No. 1.
A lawsuit was filed on Monday. Summitt Management Corp is accusing JSU and the SWAC of breach in their contract after Jackson State pulled out of the annual game against Tennessee State on February 1st. despite having three years remaining on their contract it signed back in 2019.
Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders is named in the suit as it cites an Instagram post that alleges that the classic wasn’t profitable for JSU.
“SMC has paid JSU fees exceeding $6 million over the years, during many years when JSU was struggling financially. Over the years, TSU has won more games than JSU, but JSU has been better in recent years, and stronger financially. In 2021, JSU was nearly undefeated and won the SWAC championship.”
The Summitt Management Corporation is suing for 1.8 million in damages for the 2023 and 2024 games.