Jones expects Alcorn to hire certified trainer within next two weeks

Published 10:55 am Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A lack of a certified trainer won’t be holding Alcorn State back much longer.

According to interim athletic director Wiley Jones, the school should be interviewing candidates within the next two weeks.

“I have a folder of applications on my desk,” Jones said. “We’re getting ready to interview. We had advertised (in October) and didn’t get any early responses, so we advertised again.

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“We think some are very good applications. We’re getting ready to interview by the end of next week.”

A lack of a certified trainer has hampered the Braves’ efforts in spring practice over the last week and a half, preventing the football team from practicing at all Thursday.

Alcorn head coach Johnny Thomas blamed a miscommunication with Mississippi Sports Medicine, who is providing trainers to the school during spring practice, on the problems last week.

Willie Barnes, a contract trainer with Mississippi Sports Medicine, was on campus Friday afternoon as Alcorn returned to work.

“Different people might be assigned each day to come down to practice,” he said. “We’re assigning people on a daily basis.”

Jones said he wasn’t sure if NCAA rules forbade a team from practicing without a certified trainer, but he felt it would be unwise to do so.

“It may be an NCAA rule, but it’s an understanding that it just makes good sense to have a trainer at practice.”

Jones said he hopes to have an offer made within two-three weeks, but he said it could be longer before Alcorn’s new trainer reports to duty.

“Some people don’t want to leave until their contract runs out,” he said. “If he or she can’t leave their job immediately, we’ll work with them on it. Other than that, we’re aggressively trying to bringa trainer on board. We hope to have someone offered within the next 15 days.”