JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - The presidents of Mississippi’s public universities issued a joint statement Friday in response to a recent decision by the NCAA.
The NCAA Board of Governors is banning any NCAA championship events from being held in Mississippi due to the Confederate symbol represented in Mississippi’s state flag.
This means Mississippi teams will not be able to host a regional or super-regional championship on campus, for example.
Mississippi’s eight public university presidents released a joint statement respecting the NCAA’s position on this matter.
“Several years ago, our universities recognized that the Mississippi state flag in its current form is divisive and chose to lower the flag on our campuses. Today, we are committed to continuing to do our part to ensure Mississippi is united in its pursuit of a future that is free of racism and discrimination. Such a future must include a new state flag.
“In keeping the current state flag, Mississippi will potentially forego the millions of dollars in economic impact that NCAA postseason events bring to our state. This is unfortunate. Our student-athletes and coaches, who devote so much of their time, talent, hard work and dedication to their sports and our universities, will potentially be negatively impacted through no action of their own. This is more than unfortunate.
“We are looking forward to a time when our state flag represents the full and rich diversity of Mississippi, a diversity that is reflected in our student-athletes, our student bodies, and the friends and fans of our athletics teams. We look forward to a time when Mississippi’s state flag unites Mississippians, rather than divides us.”
The statement was signed by Alcorn State University President Felecia Nave, Delta State Univerisity President William LaForge, Jackson State University Interim President Thomas Hudson, Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, Mississippi University for Women President Nora Roberts Miller, Mississippi Valley State University President Jerryl Briggs Sr., University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce, and University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett.