Southern expects to welcome back a few key players for its Homecoming game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Three defensive backs — Dionte McDuffy, D’Andre Woodland and Jaleel Richardson — went through pregame warm-ups after being cleared academically. McDuffy and Woodland played in the first two games before being withheld from the last three. Richardson will be making his season debut.
Running back Jamarcus Jarvis is expected to play after a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. Malcom Crockett, who missed the last two games because of an ankle injury, tested his ankle in pre-game warm-ups and his availability will be a game-time decision.
For in-game updates, follow Les East (@EastAdvocate) on Twitter.
LORMAN, Miss. — Southern quarterback Deonte Shorts did not travel with the team to its game against Alcorn State in Spinks-Casem Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Shorts, a redshirt freshman from Southern Lab who started the first three games of the season, dressed but did not play last week at Prairie View because of an elbow injury.
He returned to practice Monday and coach Dawson Odums said he expected Shorts to play against Alcorn. But Shorts missed practice Wednesday and Thursday because of a previously undisclosed hernia.
It’s likely Shorts’ injury will require surgery though it’s unclear when that might take place.
True freshman Austin Howard, who relieved Shorts in the first three games, was scheduled to make his second consecutive start Saturday. True freshman Jarrad Hayes is the backup.
Southern (2-2) and Alcorn (3-1) are both 1-0 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play. Kickoff was set for 4 p.m.
Southern defensive backs Kevin King, D’Andre Woodland and Dionte McDuffy remain ineligible to play in games, but the Jaguars are hopeful they can return.
Whether any resolution occurs before Southern’s game at Prairie View on Saturday is anyone’s guess.
The three starters were cleared to play in the first two games of the season, but uncertainty about their eligibility arose late last week and they were pulled from the lineup a few minutes before the start of the Jaguars 51-27 loss to Northwestern State in A.W. Mumford Stadium.
Athletic director William Broussard addressed the certification situation prior to coach Dawson Odums’ weekly news luncheon Tuesday afternoon.
Here’s a university statement that was released in conjunction with Broussard’s remarks:
SU responds to questions concerning certification
Southern University athletics has issued the following statement regarding the department’s ongoing certification process.
“The ongoing certification process reflects the severity of the unusable data findings which surfaced as a result of the NCAA inquiry. Every available resource is being expended on clearing up problems with certifying documentation and expediting the reinstatement waiver process for those student-athletes affected.
The three students held out of play for further review were first flagged 48 hours before Saturday’s game. We determined that there was insufficient data to determine their continuing eligibility and so until further review this week they are being withheld from competition. University certification staff reviewed documents Friday and Saturday and worked until the last possible minute to find relief for those students.
The University remains committed to not allowing ineligible student-athletes to compete.
We will continue to focus our attention on fulfilling the compliance demands of the NCAA. As we continue our work, we will defer all further questions to the University media relations office.”
Tackle Reginald Redding will make his season debut and start for Southern against Northwestern State on Saturday night.
Redding missed the first two games while recovering from a concussion and awaiting academic certification. He was cleared physically more than a week ago and academically earlier this week.
Meanwhile, RB Jamarcus Jarvis, who scored two touchdowns in a 56-14 victory against Central Methodist last week, will not play because of a sore knee, but he is expected back next week.
Defensive back Jaleel Richardson is still awaiting academic certification.
Redding’s return means the starting line will be comprised of him at left tackle, Jamal Boulden at left guard, Terrell Lee at center, Zach Brown at right guard and Dewayne Houston at right tackle.
C Brandon Thibodeaux (ankle), WR Randall Menard (toe), NT Justin Woods (leg) and PK Greg Pittman (knee) did not dress.
Kickoff is 6:07 p.m. and the game will be televised live on CST. Southern is 1-1 and NSU is 0-2.
The Demons beat the Jaguars 55-14 last season in Natchitoches.
Southern ventures out of state for the first time this season when it visits Prairie View for its Southwestern Athletic Conference opener next Saturday.
Bus trips to that game, which kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday, and other road games are available from a variety of groups.
The Blue & Gold Fan Club is sponsoring a bus trip that will return immediately after the Prairie View game. The cost is $110 per person and includes tailgate food, refreshments and game ticket.
The club is also offering a bus trip to AlcornState on Sept. 27. That trip costs $80 per person.
For information, contact Craig Pierre at 225-324-7234 or Robert Square at 225-931-4052
The SU Quarterback Club has trips planned to Prairie View, Alcorn, Alabama A&M on Oct. 11, JacksonState on Oct. 25 and to the Bayou Classic on Nov. 29 in New Orleans. The cost of the Prairie View trip is $185 for a single hotel room and $260 for a double; the cost for Alcorn is $80; Alabama A&M is $210 (single) or $285 double; Jackson State is $100 and Grambling is $40 (does not include game ticket).
For information, visit http://southernuniversityqbclub.com or call Jonathan Dearbone (225-572-5878), Reginald Jarvis (225-939-6722) or Robert Brown (225-287-8385).
LW EXPRESS is offering bus trips to AlcornState and to JacksonState.
Tickets for the Alcorn game are $80 per person and include ticket, food and snacks. Tickets for the JacksonState game cost $100 each and include breakfast, ticket, food, souvenir cup and snacks.
For information call Lisa White at 225-408-9928.
Six Southern players awaiting academic certification missed their second consecutive game Saturday and five of them are likely to miss the season.
Preseason All-Southwestern Athletic Conference guard Anthony Mosley, linebackers Daniel Brown and Detrane Lindsey, defensive back Renaldo Thomas and wide receiver Nico Talbert are sidelined “as of right now, for the season”, Jaguars athletic director William Broussard said.
Defensive back Jaleel Richardson was withheld against Central Methodist, but could be reinstated, Broussard said. Two players who were withheld from the season-opening 45-6 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette last week – running back Malcolm Crockett and offensive lineman Terrell Lee – were certified in time for Saturday’s home opener.
Broussard said the five players facing the stiffest penalty might have the opportunity to chance to sit several more games or redshirt in hopes of gaining a full season next year. Also, Southern could seek an NCAA waiver to reduce the penalties. But the most likely scenario is that they miss the entire season.
Meanwhile, tackle Reginald Redding, who has been cleared to play after recovering from a concussion, was added to the 2-deep, but did not start. Neako Jones started and Redding was listed as his backup.
Wide receiver Randall Menard did not dress because of a toe injury suffered in the opener.