Many Questions in the Jackson State Firing of Rick Comegy

Many Questions in the Jackson State Firing of Rick Comegy (Image 1)

WJTV – Jackson State fired football coach Rick Comegy late last week, a questionable move for a coach who led the program to four SWAC Championship game appearances in 8 years. News Channel 12’s TJ Werre breaks down the news conference and the reasons the school said Comegy needed to go.

One of the issues brought up by JSU Director of Communications Eric Stringfellow was recruiting local talent.
According to their website, the JSU football team had 32 players from Mississippi on its roster this season, 13 with ties to the Jackson metro area.
That accounts for 39 % of the roster. Here’s how the football team ranks in percentage of Mississippi athletes as compared to the other teams at JSU.

1. Men’s basketball – 60%
2. Men’s Indoor/Outdoor track – 50%
3. Women’s basketball – 44%
4. Football – 39%
5. Baseball – 36%
6. Men’s Cross Country – 33%
7. Women’s Track – 23%
8. Men’s Golf – 14%
9. Men’s Tennis – 13%
10. Women’s Cross Country – 13%
11. Women’s Soccer – 4%
12. Volleyball, Women’s Bowling, Women’s Golf, Women’s Tennis – 0%

Another issue as to why coach Comegy was fired is attendance, and the numbers being down. Here are the average attendance numbers during Comegy’s tenure.
2007 – 16,786 (Attendance for game against Delta State not listed)
2008 – 21,262
2009 – 11,117
2010 – 25,583
2011 – 21,499
2012 – 11,431
2013 – 14,707

As you can see, some of the lowest numbers came in 2007, 2012 and 2013, all were seasons in which Jackson State competed in the SWAC Championship game.

JSU Athletic Director Vivian Fuller has not made herself available for comment. The only thing she has released at this point came in the initial notice announcing Comegy’s departure.
It reads “We are grateful to Coach Comegy and his staff for their service to Jackson State,” Fuller said. “We appreciate the work he has done with JSU athletics and we wish him well.”

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