Hometown of rival school offers help to Jackson’s football team for water problems

December 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Jackson State Tigers head coach Deion Sanders reacts on the sidelines against the South Carolina State Bulldogs during the first half of the 2021 Celebration Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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JACKSON, Mississippi, Aug 31 (Reuters) – After the Mississippi capital was left without running water this week due to a treatment plant failure, Jackson State University football coach Deion Sanders shared a video on Instagram saying he was in “crisis mode” to support his team. practicing.

“We don’t have air conditioning, we can’t use restrooms, we don’t have water, so we don’t have ice, which puts a strain on the program,” said Sanders, a perennial All-Pro. during his 14-year career in the National Football League.

In Greenville, Mississippi, about 120 miles north of Jackson, home to rival Mississippi Valley State University, Mayor Errick D. Simmons watched the video and hours later offered to feed and house the team at his hotels. city.

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“Our city is lucky not to be in that crisis, so we wanted to help, because I say a friend in need is a friend indeed,” Greenville Mayor Simmons said by phone Wednesday.

The JSU Tigers and Mississippi Valley State University, both historically black schools, will face each other on September 24.

Simmons, who graduated from JSU and whose son is currently a wide receiver for the Tigers, said he wasn’t sure if Sanders, known as “Prime Time,” would accept the offer. The JSU Tigers head to Miami on Thursday for a game against Florida A&M University this weekend.

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Simmons said his offer would stand after JSU returned from Florida if the water crisis had not been resolved.

“The problem might be resolved by then, but I want you to know that our door is open if you need us,” he said.

The JSU Athletics Department did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday on whether they would accept Simmons’ offer.

In a video posted Wednesday morning, Sanders expressed “special love, thanks and appreciation to everyone who flooded us with messages, who wanted to make donations” after watching his video. He didn’t mention Simmons’ offer.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba told CNN he expected the water to start flowing again by the end of the week. On Wednesday, the city was grappling with its second day without running water after the dilapidated OB Curtis plant broke down after a weekend of heavy rain and flooding.

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Reporting from Eric Cox in Jackson and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Written by Julia Harte; Edited by Frank McGurty and Deepa Babington

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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