Schools scramble to reschedule Monday’s games in Itta Bena
The Southern men’s and women’s basketball games scheduled for Monday at Mississippi Valley State have been postponed because of a bomb threat at Valley.
MVSU canceled classes, shut down the campus and postponed the game against Southern and relocated games against Alcorn State on Saturday. The bomb threat was received Wednesday and included the campus in Itta Bena, Miss., as well as the Leflore County Civic Center in Greenwood, Miss., where the Delta Devils play their games.
The schools are looking at two dates — Feb. 6 and Feb. 27 — as possible makeup dates. MVSU prefers Feb. 27, but that would mean the Jaguars would conclude their road schedule with four road games in eight days.
After playing at Alabama A&M (Feb. 22) and Alabama State (Feb. 24), Southern would make up the game against MVSU on Feb. 27 then play at Alcorn State on March 1.
If the game were made up Feb. 6, the Delta Devils would be playing five games in 10 days, though all would be at home.
“There’s no good solution,” Southern Athletic Director William Broussard said Thursday afternoon. “We’re trying to come up with the best for both of us and for the student-athletes. It’s a strange situation.
“The conference schedule is set up so you never play more than two games in a week and never play four in a row on the road. The slightest disruption to the schedule leads to one of these situations.”
Broussard said swapping home dates isn’t viable because the Feb. 17 meeting at Southern is an ESPNU telecast and the Jaguars can’t afford to forfeit that revenue.
He said he expected the two schools would come to an agreement quickly without needing the Southwestern Athletic Conference to intervene.
“I understand the situation on their campus presents an unforeseen challenge,” Broussard said. “Financially they can’t just pack up and play a neutral-site game.”
The SU men and women are both in first place in the SWAC with 4-0 records and visit Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday.
“We also have to take into account the effect of playing late when both our men and women could be playing for a championship,” Broussard said.