University leaders respond to NCAA position on Mississippi state flag

CONTACT: Caron Blanton

Joint statement from the institutional executive officers of Mississippi’s eight public universities

Mississippi Public Universities logo

Mississippi’s public universities respect the NCAA’s position as it relates to the State of Mississippi’s flag.

Several years ago, our universities recognized that the Mississippi state flag in its current form is divisive and chose to lower the flag on our campuses. Today, we are committed to continuing to do our part to ensure Mississippi is united in its pursuit of a future that is free of racism and discrimination. Such a future must include a new state flag.

In keeping the current state flag, Mississippi will potentially forego the millions of dollars in economic impact that NCAA postseason events bring to our state. This is unfortunate. Our student-athletes and coaches, who devote so much of their time, talent, hard work and dedication to their sports and our universities, will potentially be negatively impacted through no action of their own. This is more than unfortunate.

We are looking forward to a time when our state flag represents the full and rich diversity of Mississippi, a diversity that is reflected in our student-athletes, our student bodies, and the friends and fans of our athletics teams. We look forward to a time when Mississippi’s state flag unites Mississippians, rather than divides us.

President Felicia M. Nave, Ph.D.

Alcorn State University

President William LaForge, J.D.

Delta State University

Interim President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D.

Jackson State University

President Mark E. Keenum, Ph.D.

Mississippi State University

President Nora Roberts Miller, M.B.A.

Mississippi University for Women

President Jerryl Briggs, Sr., Ph.D.

Mississippi Valley State University

Chancellor Glenn F. Boyce, Ed.D.

University of Mississippi

President Rodney D. Bennett, Ed.D.

University of Southern Mississippi


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Friday, June 19, 2020 - 12:07 pm