NCAA: Grambling State Football Players Boycott Practice

Things aren’t looking so rosy for the Grambling State University football program. 

Sean Isabella of the Monroe News-Star reported on Oct. 16 that the Tigers football players boycotted practice on Wednesday, a day after the team walked out of a meeting with university officials “that turned sour.” 

The Tuesday meeting, which was held after the 5 p.m. practice, involved the players, GSU president Frank Pogue, athletic director Aaron James and student government president Jordan Harvey.

Isabella writes the meeting’s purpose was for the officials “to show support after an 0-7 start to the season.” 

USA Today Sports’ Matt Vines adds other itineraries which were supposed to be discussed were the reasons for traveling by bus to Kansas City and Indianapolis as well as the dismissal of former head coach Doug Williams more than a month ago.   

In the midst of a 17-game losing streak to NCAA rivals and 14-game slide against SWAC opponents, things escalated and reached a boiling point during the meeting which prompted the Tigers to walk out.

A day later, not a single player reported for practice. 

Vines cites a source, a member of the football program, who enumerated the issues the team is getting increasingly frustrated with. 

“Those frustrations include what’s considered what’s considered as general disrespect from the administration, not receiving all meals on road trips, taking a bus to distant locations such as Kansas City, Mo. and Indianapolis, and the poor state of facilities like the weight room,” writes Vines. 

The source said,”It was basically a mutiny. (The team) rode the bus all that way (to Indianapolis), and then come back and are disrespected like that (in Tuesday’s meeting). (The team) is standing together because they don’t know if anybody else is standing with them.” 

For his part, Isabella interviewed Grambling State spokesman Will Sutton, who said the university understands the players’ situation.

“Things are rough, and we understand our players’ frustration. The president is frustrated, the AD is frustrated, the students are frustrated, the alumni are frustrated, so we fully understand our players’ frustration.” 

Williams, Super Bowl XXII MVP when he played quarterback for the Washington Redskins, was fired on Sept. 11 two games into the season. The team posted a 1-10 mark in 2012 after winning the SWAC title the year before. 

He had been the Tigers’ head coach from 1998-2004 before we was re-hired in 2011 after joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front office in between stints with Grambling State University. 

His son, D.J. Williams, is the Tigers’ starting quarterback. 

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