OT: Grambling State football team protesting their program by skipping practice

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on October 18th, 2013 at 7:54 AM

GSU has a storied program among HBCUs. Here's a little from the story-

Full article: http://deadspin.com/whats-behind-the-grambling-football-teams-protest-1447273282

Not the only woes for GSU athletic. Their basketball team went winless last season. 0-28.

Grambling's storied football program is in complete disarray. On Tuesday, players walked out of a meeting with coaches and administrators. On Wednesday, they skipped practice altogether in protest, then repeated the boycott again today. And interim coach George Ragsdale hasreportedly been fired. The players aren't happy about how they're being treated, but they're not alone. Heavy cuts in state funding have wrecked the school's athletic budget, and everyone—players, coaches, and administrators alike—is bearing the brunt of it.

According to the Shreveport Times, the players are upset because they had to take buses to recent games in Kansas City (approximately 1,200 round-trip miles) and Indianapolis (1,500 round-trip miles). They're also not happy that coach Doug Williams—the program's most distinguished alumnus—was fired last month, just two games into the season.



October 18th, 2013 at 8:34 AM ^

There is a whole bunch more that happened as well... This only tells some of it. They didn't receive meals etc. the interim head coach kicked a player off the team when he stood up in regards to their treatment during a strength and conditioning session which cause the entire group to walk out on the coaching staff. The player has since been reinstated but suspended.

It's a complete disaster there right now.


October 18th, 2013 at 9:08 AM ^


It's a lot to ask your kids to spend 9 and 12 hours on buses to get to games while opponents flew there in an hour. On top of that they weren't even FED.

I grew up spending my childhood near Grambling. My dad was an assistant professor at the school. We all idolized legendary coach Eddie Robinson. The program is a shell of what it used to be.


October 18th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

“We want to know that the program is going to be run the right way." - Grambling football player Naquan Smith, in one of the articles

Given all that is happening based on these articles, I really don't see how this is an unreasonable request of the players as it seems clear that they aren't exactly foremost in the minds of that administration. Reading all of that, all I can come up with is, "Wow...". No one seems to be on the same page and there seems to be incredible fragmentation in that program. 


October 18th, 2013 at 10:50 AM ^

Start paying players, and these kind of cost cutting measures will hit schools everywhere.  Obvioiusly not us, and not any Big Ten schools, but schools in conferences like the MAC will start with this.

In a bubble, paying players seems fair.  But only a small group of schools could afford to do it without cutting elsewhere and that includes cutting other sports, both men and women.


ILL Eagle

October 19th, 2013 at 12:00 AM ^

I agree with you (go34blue) that not all schools can afford to pay players but, so what? Why are all schools entitled to having a big time college football program? Same goes for the other non-revenue sports programs. I get that those programs do a lot of good for a lot of people but so do a lot of other programs and institiutions that get cut. That may be a harsh thing to say but it is also true.

I think a simple solution would be to break out another division: basically the big four conferences. MAC, AAC, etc don't have to pay players and go about business as usual. Folks can still 'get paid' with a free 'education'. But at places like Michigan, Texas, Alabama, Notre Dame, yadda yadda...they can break a piece off for the football and basketball players and then everybody else on scholarship, and STILL pay coaches absurd salaries and build ludicrous facilities.



October 18th, 2013 at 7:02 PM ^

Looks like now the players didn't show up for their bus to play JSU.  Except for the paying players part, I agree with go34blue.  And there are plenty of schools that don't fly football teams to games already and have almost never done so.  Still, with conference realignments meaning sometimes even conference games are a half continent away and dwindling funds at many schools, this may become more and more of an issue.  The result, at some schools, might be to drop sports like football.


October 19th, 2013 at 1:57 PM ^

Here's the players letter to the administration:


Opposing teams refusing to use the locker room at halftime because of all the mold and mildew. Uniforms and practice uniforms not properly cleaned; players with multiple staph infections. Grass on the practice field isn't cut.

At some point you have to decide if you really want to have a D1 program. That stuff isn't optional; if you have to cut scholarship money and move to a lower division to be able to afford to clean your uniforms and mow the grass on your field, that's what you have to do.