Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders offers to help the Alcorn State football program secure athletic trainers, Yahoo Sports reports.
During Monday's Southwestern Athletic Conference call, it was announced that the Alcorn State Braves missed two days of practice last week due to the lack of full-time trainers on campus, reportedly because of COVID-19-related issues.
Sander’s put the in-state rivalry aside and said he would help the university find athletic trainers so they can proceed at full strength.
"I could get them [some trainers]," Sanders said. "I'm not trying to [belittle them], but that's phone calls, man. I mean, I wish we have the relationship that we could call each other, because, how many hospitals we have here in the city? I promise, I would've done it myself, sent you several trainers back because those kids deserve to get down. They deserve to play. We can't practice? Because of the trainers? Like, please."
Currently, Alcorn State has no full-time trainers on staff and have used part-time trainers this season, USA Today reported,
"You have to have a certified athletic trainer on campus in the building to do these things, and we didn't have one," Alcorn State coach Fred McNair said on his radio show last week. "That's such a discouraging thing to me that we're not doing a good enough job to bring in someone of our own to be an athletic trainer at Alcorn State University."
Fred Worthy was hired early at the end of January as the full-time athletic trainer but left the job in July for a private-sector position in healthcare. Rather than hiring a full-time replacement, the athletic department outsourced the job between two part-time trainers who had not yet received the COVID-19 vaccination, one person said.
Despite coaching rival teams, Sanders had nothing but praise for McNair.
"My brother McNair, and that's a darn good coach," he said. "That's a darn good, shoot, good team. Man, my brother McNair, if you can hit me right now; if you have a problem, call me. If I can help, I'm going to help. Immediately. This is bigger than the little rivalry. This is about these kids, man. And I got love for that brother. He's a good dude."
Sanders said the Alcorn administration should be blamed for the lack of full-time trainers and not McNair.
"Now, that's a problem up top," he argued. "That that's not him; that's a problem somewhere else there; that's a problem for him. We need to address that, and whoever is allowing that to happen needs to be checked. You get this man; he has a wonderful program year after year, and he wins. And you're going to allow that to happen to him? Please. That's one of our treasures in the HBCU, we've got to have his back."