Interim coach Dawson Odums has a new mascot idea for his team.
“I really think we’re becoming the Southern MRIs,” he said. “Every time you turn around, we have a kid getting an MRI.”
Maybe it’s not the catchiest nickname, but unfortunately, it is catching on.
Constantly hampered by injuries — particularly in the secondary — the Jaguars are sending a steady stream of players to the training room and doctor’s offices.
SU got its worst news yet this week, when MRI results revealed two torn ligaments (anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament) in free safety Mychal Bell’s knee, which he injured during practice last Wednesday.
That means Bell, a senior, has played his last snap at Southern, and the Jaguars are still scrambling to patch up their defensive backfield. Bell’s backup, D’Mekus Cook (shoulder) was due for further evaluation Tuesday afternoon, and strong safety Levi Jackson is questionable after an arm infection held him out of Saturday’s loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
“I know Mike is done,” Odums said. “Mike won’t play anymore for us this year. He’ll get back into rehab, and it’s unfortunate for that young man because he was playing pretty good. We’re down at the safety position, but we hope to get Levi back this week, and we hope to get some other guys back, back there.”
There are injuries elsewhere too, as center Aaron Hall was also scheduled for an MRI on his right knee, which he hurt Saturday when a UAPB player rolled into his leg from the side. Hall was carried off the field and appeared later on crutches.
Odums said linebacker Franchot West joined the MRI club as well, though he added that he didn’t expect West’s shoulder injury to be as severe as Bell’s or Hall’s knees.
“I really don’t think his is that serious,” Odums said. “I think it’s precautionary. We look forward to getting him back.”
Bus trips available
With three of Southern’s remaining four games taking place away from A.W. Mumford Stadium, the Blue & Gold Fan Club is sponsoring bus trips to help fans show their support.
For Saturday’s Shreveport Classic against Prairie View, $100 will cover the cost of transportation, a game ticket and tailgate food. A similar package is available for Southern’s trip to face Alabama A&M in Huntsville, Ala., on Nov. 3, and $40 bus tickets are being sold for the Bayou Classic against Grambling as well.
For more information, contact Craig Pierre at (225) 324-7234 or Robert Square at (225) 931-4052.
The Sixth Man Club is also offering a bus trip to Shreveport for Saturday’s game. The cost, which includes bus ride and game ticket, is $110. The bus leaves at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call Al Jones at (225) 907-7212 or Fred Green at (225) 388-9304.
Bayou Classic tickets
From now through Oct. 29, SU students, faculty and staff can purchase tickets to Southern’s Nov. 24 showdown with Grambling in New Orleans from the school’s ticket office in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Student tickets are $20, while those for faculty and staff are $45. The ticket office may be reached at (225) 771-3171, and a valid Southern ID is required.
Sales will open to the public on Nov. 1.