VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Grambling players end boycott, return

GRAMBLING, La. (AP) - Grambling players are ending their boycott and will practice Monday after speaking with former coach Doug Williams, who advised them to, ''Go out there and play football.''

In a statement, team representative Naquan Smith said players reached out to several people, including Williams, and their ex-coach 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.

Grambling players have scheduled a press conference Monday afternoon in front of the Eddie Robinson Museum on campus. The players are also scheduled to resume practice after the press conference at the university practice facility.

''We hope Coach Eddie Robinson and his legendary players can appreciate that we stood up for what we thought was right,'' Smith said in his statement.

It's been a tough season for Grambling (0-8), which has endured two coaching changes this season and has lost 18 straight football games to NCAA opponents. Williams was fired after just two games this season and replaced by George Ragsdale, who was reassigned on Thursday and replaced by Dennis ''Dirt'' Winston.

The players have been not participated in practices or games since Tuesday, when they walked out of contentious meeting with school administration.

SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said Sunday that the conference was working with Grambling to resolve the dispute. He has said Grambling will be subject to a fine according to the league's bylaws.

Emmett Gill, the national director for the Student Athlete Human Rights Project, said he was on campus to help ensure that players do not face retaliation from school administration for their protest.

Grambling's administration has confirmed one of the players' concerns is about travel. The team recently took buses to games in Kansas City and Indianapolis.

University spokesman Will Sutton said Grambling has endured a 57 percent cut in state funding over several years that has affected the entire campus.

The athletic department was asked to cut $335,000 this year from its overall department budget of $6.8 million. Sutton said football was cut by $75,000 to about $2 million.

ESPN reported Saturday that it had obtained a letter detailing player complaints, which included mold in the locker room and improperly cleaned uniforms contributing to an increased likelihood of staph infections.

Sutton said that local health department inspectors, acting on an anonymous tip, recently visited Grambling athletic facilities and recommended changes to improve conditions, but did not deem those facilities a health hazard.


Follow David Brandt on Twitter:

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

News: 2018 College Playoff Props
News: 2018 Heisman Trophy Odds
North Texas finalizing deal with Littrell
RB Shyne on comeback trail at Utah
Staffer no longer employed by Michigan
UCF claims 13-0 season worth $200M
Frost likes enthusiasm in spring opener
Alabama football team to visit WH
Mike Gundy offers to pay for security
Why Buy Picks From
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 3165
Scott Pritchard + 2769
Mark Franco + 2093
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 517
Gary Bart + 290
Jim Feist + 185
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 68 %
Vince Akins 64 %
Dave Cokin 62 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1510
Scott Pritchard + 1184
Marc Lawrence + 975
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 1365
Scott Pritchard + 1074
Antony Dinero + 551
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1060
Marc Lawrence + 959
Joe Williams + 805
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership