Grambling State football team walks out

Budget cuts lead to losses

Grambling states logo with pictures of its facilities and equipment surrounding it

Photoshop by Alex Singler

Grambling states logo with pictures of its facilities and equipment surrounding it

Grambling State University, a college in which nobody outside the state of Louisiana has heard of, recently made noise in the sports world. Over the past two seasons, Grambling State’s football team has gone 1-17, a record that would make anyone seek change.

After suffering a 48-0 loss to Alcorn State University, the team was done. The players wrote a letter to the school complaining of lack of support and failure to maintain the equipment and facilities.

“The athletic complex is in horrible condition, and has many hazards that may contribute to our overall health,” the players wrote. “First, the complex is filled with mildew and mold. Mildew and mold can be seen on the ceiling, walls and floor, and are contributing to water leaks because of faltering walls and ceilings.”

The letter has sparked some change within the program. The school has begun tearing up the floor in the weight room, but the players need more.

“The uniforms are poorly cleaned and contribute to the multiple cases of staph infection,” the letter reads. “Several players have been infected with staph multiple times.” Not only is this affecting their chances of winning but it also a major health concern.

Part of this lack of cleanliness was due in part to the school having their budget cut by 57 percent, affecting not only athletics but the school as a whole. These cuts have been happening over the last several years but just recently they have cut into the athletic programs. The football program was cut by about $75,000 leaving them with just $2 million, which isn’t enough for a college football program.

Cutting a team’s budget may not seem to be a significant part of the downfall of a program, but when the team goes 1-17 in the past two seasons as opposed to 17-6 and a SWAC championship in 2011, something has got to give.

Not only were the facilities affected by these cuts but also the coaching staff. Doug Williams, former Super Bowl MVP and then head coach of the Tigers, was fired due to cutbacks. The players were unaware of the school’s intention to fire Williams and this soon led to a revolt of the players.

The players have walked out of meetings, skipped practice and the in biggest protest yet, refused to travel to Jackson State on October 19th. They took a forfeit and as a result, tallied their 12th consecutive loss.

“I would never even think of skipping a game or walking out on a meeting with the coaching staff,” said Elder senior lineman Ben Klenk. “It’s just not worth it no matter what the situation may be.”

While this may never happen at a school like Elder, it has brought some change to the Gramblin State program. Muscle Milk has sent over 4,608 bottles of product to get the team through the season. Also after talking to former head coach Doug Williams, the players have returned to practice but suffered yet another loss this past Saturday to Texas Southern University.