Monday, April 25, 2016

Southern looks ahead while other SWAC teams reflect on spring practice

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Nine of the 10 Southwestern Athletic Conference football coaches on a teleconference with the media Monday morning summarized their recently completed spring practices.

The league’s three new coaches — former LSU assistant Michael Haywood (Texas Southern), Fred McNair (Alcorn State) and Tony Hughes (Jackson State) — talked about their impressions of the talent they inherited and the transition to a new coaching staff.

Generally, the veteran coaches — ranging from Arkansas-Pine Bluff coach Monte Coleman, the dean of SWAC coaches as he prepares for his ninth season, to second-year coaches Willie Simmons of Prairie View and Brian Jenkins of Alabama State — talked about the latest steps in their building or rebuilding projects.

But Southern coach Dawson Odums was left to talk about being unable to conduct spring practice for a second consecutive year. The Jaguars have been forbidden from conducting the normal 15 spring practices in order to complete previous NCAA sanctions.

On top of that, Southern learned last week that the latest round of insufficient Academic Progress Rates will cost it spring practice in 2017, and it will be ineligible for the 2016 Celebration Bowl, which matches the champions of the SWAC and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.


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