Grambling State football collapsing, players choose to miss game

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

The university is in a financial mess, and football players appear to be fed up.

UPDATE: Grambling State confirmed on Friday evening that the football team will not travel to play Jackson State. The game will not be made up, but Jackson State will hold an open scrimmage and offer a ticket refund.

With the Grambling State football program suffering from severe financial woes, players have decided not to travel for the Tigers' game at Jackson State this Saturday, according to the Gramblinite.

The program is currently a mess. Head coach Doug Williams, a popular figure among players who has clashed with administration on more than one occasion, was fired earlier this year after securing funds for a badly needed rubber floor in Grambling's weight room, as revealed by Sports Illustrated. Williams didn't filter the money through channels approved by school president Dr. Frank Pogue and athletic director Aaron James. After the firing, the new floors weren't installed, leaving players feeling betrayed twice over.

George Ragsdale, who was serving as interim coach after Williams' firing, was relieved of his duties Thursday and will be reassigned within the athletic department. This comes after Grambling players walked out of a meeting with the university president and athletic director and boycotted practice earlier in the week. In addition to the new floor that was denied at the last minute and the firing of Williams, players have been upset over the lack of air travel on long-distance road trips, per Sports Illustrated.

Pogue commented on the players' actions, according to the Monroe News Star, saying he supports the program and doesn't believe the players are in control:

"We're going to Jackson and we're going to play Jackson State for their homecoming," said Pogue, who added he would be in the stands Saturday night.

Sources said those who don't make the trip "could" be in for repercussions. Grambling is also on the hook financially if it is forced to forfeit

Pogue said he is still calling the shots.

"I don't see the players as being in control," Pogue said when discussing the events of this past week, including the team's walkout Tuesday. " I have never lost control of an institution."

Grambling defensive back Dwight Amphy told SI that Grambling's players have been giving 100-percent effort, and that the school should do the same:

"We knew what we were getting ourselves into when we came to Grambling. We new we weren't going to have all this and that, the best stuff. We knew we weren't going to LSU," Amphy says. "But it could be better, even just a little bit better. Because it is not like we don't have the athletes to compete, not like we aren't trying to the best of our ability."

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