MOBILE, AL - The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic is now a nationally-televised event.
Game officials made the historic announcement on Thursday that this year's All-Star Classic, featuring 74 of the best senior collegiate prospects from both states, will be nationally-televised live by VERSUS, the basic cable sports network available in over 70 million homes nationwide.
Officials also announced that this year's contest, set for Saturday, December 12, will kickoff at 12:30 p.m. CST in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
"We look forward to the opportunity to showcase this historic competition featuring remarkable high school athletes to a national audience," said Jeff Goldberg, Vice President of Programming for VERSUS. "VERSUS is always looking to add best-in-class programming that complements our lineup of competitive sports and with the college football season wrapping up on the network a few weeks before this game, we saw this as a great way to give exposure to the sport's future stars."
VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the nation, celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD) and is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the IndyCar® Series as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), and Professional Boxing.
"Having this year's All-Star Classic televised on VERSUS, the country's fastest growing cable sports network, is a tremendous boost to our event," said Vic Knight, All-Star Classic Executive Director. "Now fans throughout the nation will be able to see the talents of the best players from both states that make this event so special and the Mobile area will be able to put its best foot forward into millions of homes across the country."
The network also offers extensive collegiate sports programming featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12, Mountain West and Ivy League. In 2009, the network will air 26 live football games from those conferences, including a double-header this coming Saturday that features sixth-ranked TCU against UNLV.
VERSUS also features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events and original programs, such as Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau that audiences can't find elsewhere
The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic is a premier annual football recruiting talent showcase between two teams representing two states rich in football tradition. Viewers will not only be able to see the best football talent these two states have to offer, but also get a preview into the next generation of major college stars. The 37-member rosters of top collegiate prospects that will represent Alabama and Mississippi in the 2009 contest were announced earlier this month, and include 29 players who have already made verbal commitments to attend Southeastern Conference and other major schools in 2010.
Over the past 21 years, the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic has built an impressive legacy of featuring the best home-grown talent from Alabama and Mississippi -- players who have gone on to enjoy tremendous success at both the NCAA and NFL levels. A total of 17 first-round NFL Draft picks and 116 overall NFL draftees have played in the contest, including Antonio Langham, Deuce McAllister, Jason Campbell, John Copeland, Cadillac Williams, Steve McNair, Willie Anderson, JaMarcus Russell and Andre Smith, the sixth overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Currently, over 80 former All-Star Classic players are on the football rosters of the 12 Southeastern Conference schools, including pre-season All-SEC selections Julio Jones and Rolando McClain of Alabama, Antonio Coleman of Auburn, Anthony Dixon of Mississippi State and John Jerry of Ole Miss.