Grambling State football players boycotted two practices this week, did not show up for the scheduled departure of the team’s buses, and are threatening to boycott Saturday’s game against Jackson State
according to Sean Isabella of The News-Star.
[UPDATE] The football team was given a one-hour extension according to Sean Isabella. However the new 3:30 local time deadline came and went without any players showing up to the buses. According to Brett McMurphy, the players have told ESPN “we aren’t playing” on Saturday.
[EARLIER] Earlier this week, the school reassigned the team’s interim head coach George Ragsdale within the athletic department. Ragsdale had replaced head coach Doug Williams, who was fired after just two games. Williams was a star quarterback for Grambling in the 1970s.
The players appear to be upset over the firing of Williams and mistreatment by the school. Cuts in state funding for higher education has led to steep cuts in the budget for the football team. One impact of the cuts is that the team has been forced to take buses to games as far as 750 miles away.
The players may also be upset that Ragsdale is still employed by the school. One player told USAToday.com that they “wanted (Ragsdale) to actually step down.”
The players indicated that they were “ready” to play on Saturday against Jackson State. However, the team buses were scheduled to leave the Grambling State campus at 2:30 local time today and no players showed up.
A school spokesman said that the school will “play the players that want to play.” But at this point, that there may be none and the school will be forced to forfeit.
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