Southern Heritage Classic organizer sues Jackson State for breach of contract

Jackson State will return for one final Southern Heritage Classic
Jackson State will return for one final Southern Heritage Classic
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The organizer of the Southern Heritage Classic is suing Jackson State University after the school pulled out of future games.

The annual match sees JSU and Tennessee State University go head to head in Memphis. It’s a nearly three-decade tradition between the HBCUs.

In February, JSU’s legal counsel sent Classic founder Fred Jones a letter saying the school was pulling out after 28 years because of a scheduling conflict with the Southwestern Athletic Conference. JSU later said they would play one final match in 2022.

Jones said the current contract, signed in 2019, has JSU and TSU playing through 2024.

On Monday, Summitt Management Corporation, the owner and operator of the Southern Heritage Classic, filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court alleging breach of contract by JSU.

The suit also names SWAC and claims the conference wrongfully interfered with contractual and business relationships by creating its own classic for which JSU was due to participate.

The lawsuit is asking for a hearing and a mandatory injunction compelling JSU to perform the duties set out in the contract.

In response to the suit, JSU said “it was never our intent to abruptly cancel participation during the 2022 season.” The school said the 2022 Classic will be played as planned.

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