It was a bad week on the reservation. First, Alcorn State lost wildly successful head football coach Jay Hopson to USM.

On top of that, on Thursday a Claiborne County jury rendered a $500,000 verdict to former ball coach Ernest T. Jones for mental anxiety. Technically, the verdict was against the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

Coach Jones alleged that Alcorn breached his contract to serve as head football coach by firing all of his assistant coaches, by failing to timely provide the players with uniforms and shoes, and by making several false charges of misconduct against him.

Jones is an Alcorn alum who was the head coach in 2008. Alcorn went 2-10 under Coach Jones.

The defense argued that the State is immune from damages under sovereign immunity.

Plaintiff’s counsel were Jim Waide of Tupelo, Wayne Ferrell and Adrienne Parker of Jackson and Michael Keyton of Port Gibson.

Defense counsel were Alan Purdie and Christopher Corkern of Ridgeland. Judge Lamar Pickard presided.

My Take:

Did he have to field a team without helmets and shoes? That would give me mental anxiety.

  • randywallace

    Interesting case procedurally. Plaintiff lost a previous state court case before the same trial court and that case was subsequently affirmed by the COA. Same plaintiff also lost a federal court case before Judge Bramlette on what appear to be similar facts. Not sure how this one made it to the jury.

  • outnumbered

    Keyton is, or at one point, was county attorney for claiborne county if I’m not mistaken. It is arguable that it raises appearance of impropriety to let the county attorney serve as counsel for the plaintiff. Did the defense not raise this?