Jones loses appeal of firing

LORMAN, Miss. -- Ernest T. Jones' bid to hang onto his job as head football coach at Alcorn State ended Tuesday after a university committee rejected an appeal of his firing.

Jones was fired Dec. 11 -- exactly a year after being hired as the Braves' coach. He signed a three-year, $140,000 contract in December 2007.

He appealed the firing to a university grievance committee, which held a hearing on his employment status Jan. 16. Jones remained head coach through that process, but university officials said his termination was complete with Tuesday's announcement.

A phone listing for Jones could not be found.

According to the statement Tuesday from the university, Jones was terminated for "malfeasance and contumacious conduct."

"Our focus has been and continues to be the success of our student-athletes," Alcorn State President Dr. George E. Ross said. "Alcorn's football program is firmly rooted in honesty and integrity, and I have great confidence in our ability to grow and strengthen our academic and athletic offerings."

Alcorn State went 2-10 under Jones.

The university said it will name an interim coach soon and a search for a permanent replacement will begin immediately.