JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ A new deal will allow 31 private schools to compete against Mississippi public schools in sporting events for the first time beginning this fall. The Mississippi Private School Association ratified the deal Thursday. Three months ago, the MPSA blocked a plan that would have allowed Jackson Prep to play public schools for a two-year trial period. The new plan allows 31 of the MPSA's approximately 100 member schools to play public schools. ``It's on. This is the start of something good, something that will open some doors,'' said Ennis Proctor, executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association, the governing body for public school sports. ``This is something we've been working toward and waiting for. I know the MPSA had to look carefully at it before reaching an agreement, but I'm glad they did. It's very big news,'' Proctor said. MPSA executive director David Derrick and director of activities Les Triplett had no immediate comment on the decision. ``I think there are a ton of people in the private and publics in the education business that are tired of having a fence where you have to be on one side or the other,'' said Brandon athletic director Dan Davis. Davis said he would like to talk with Jackson Prep, Madison-Ridgeland Academy and others about playing in several sports.