Grambling Player: No Regrets About Boycott

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  • GRAMBLING, La. (AP) — Naquan Smith and his Grambling football teammates have no regrets about a nearly weeklong boycott that forced the university to forfeit its game against Jackson State on Saturday.

    Grambling players stood behind Smith Monday during a press conference outside of the Eddie Robinson Museum on campus. Smith said the entire team was present and that the vote to return to the field was “100 percent.”

    “The football team took a stance on what we thought was right,” Smith said. “We did not quit on our university. There are many problems that exist and if no one says anything, nothing will become of our institution. We hope coach Eddie Robinson and his legendary players appreciate we took a stand and thought we were right.”

    Smith said players decided end the boycott after reaching out to several Grambling greats, including former coach Doug Williams, who advised them to, “Go out there and play football.”

    Williams also put them in contact with Baton Rouge businessman Jim Bernhard.

    Smith said Bernhard told players he has their “best intentions at heart and that he would ensure we had updated facilities, but we had to agree to being back practicing Monday … and finish the remainder of our season.”

    Smith said although the team will play, “We have not forgotten the situation and how we’ve gotten here.”

    Players refused to travel to Saturday’s game at Jackson State, a forfeit, because of issues with university leaders.

    The Southwest Athletic Conference said Sunday that Grambling had not been fined yet. SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp told The Associated Press on Friday that Grambling would be subject to a fine for forfeiting according to the league’s bylaws.

    Grambling will resume practice on Monday evening at the university practice facility. The Tigers host Texas Southern on Saturday.

    “Everyone on the team wanted to play, but to get what we feel is right, we had to take a stand and make sure our voice was heard,” Smith said.

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    3 thoughts on “Grambling Player: No Regrets About Boycott

    1. Although, I understand the plight of the student-athletes but I think GSU would have done better at this boycott by boycotting their own Homecoming instead of ruining JSU Homecoming. I am not happy about Grambling State University forfeiting the game to Jackson State University. It was our (JSU) Homecoming this past weekend and GSU should have honored their obligations to the contract that they had with JSU. JSU took a big hit financially because of GSU qualms with their administration. JSU Homecoming always attract over fifty-thousand alumni and fans and it is a shame that JSU got caught up in GSU storm. As Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) we are going to have to learn how to handle our business more professionally and more diplomatic. As Alumni’s we need to always give back to our schools because we know that our HBCU’s are not funded properly and fairly.

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