The 31st Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) has been canceled due to complications due to the corona virus. The decision to cancel all events was made after SHC’s management reviewed a copy of the Shelby County Health Department’s Health Directive No. 6 detailing emergency management relief efforts put in place to address COVID-19, specifically those regarding recreational or athletic activities.
The game between Tennessee State and Jackson State was scheduled for Sept. 12 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.
“I know this is a great disappointment to many who consider SHC one of the major highlights of the year. The health and safety of our attendees along with that of our staff, sponsors, and others is a top priority. I encourage everyone to keep practicing recommended safety and social distancing measures so that we can return to our usual activities as soon as possible,” said Fred Jones, Founder of the Southern Heritage Classic.
The cancellation is the second in three years in the annual contest between TSU and JSU. The 2018 matchup was called due to inclement weather.
"For years, Fred Jones has been a great ambassador for HBCU football and an outstanding partner to Tennessee State Athletics," stated TSU Director of Athletics, Dr. Mikki Allen. "The Southern Heritage Classic is not only an opportunity for our student-athletes to showcase their athletic abilities but it’s an event that Big Blue alumni, fans and supporters look forward to every year. It was very disappointing to find out that the Southern Heritage Classic would be cancelling for the 2020 season due COVID-19 related circumstances but the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff, fans and supporters is our first priority. We respect the decision of the SHC Management Team and look forward to exciting games in the future against Jackson State University. Looking ahead, we will be exploring options to schedule an alternative game on that date."
“We are grateful to Jackson State University and Tennessee State University, the fans, our sponsors, and the SHC ambassadors, who have supported us throughout the years,” Jones added. “We look forward to your continued support. This isn’t the first challenge we’ve faced, and we will overcome this one as we have the others.”
Those who have purchased tickets for the football game can receive refunds at the point of purchase. For more information, contact the Southern Heritage Classic Headquarters at 901.398.6655, 1.800.332.1991, or [email protected].